The Hurt Locker.
The Hurt Locker is the story of an American bomb disposal squad in Iraq. It was made in a pseudo-verité style, which means no happy studio endings or mood music to cheer on our heroes. There are the nasty moments such as the boy who’s murdered so that his corpse can be used to hide a bomb, or the man who has had a bomb locked to him and cannot be saved. The bombs appear, but there’s never any sign of the bombers, and the Iraqis often appear to know what’s going to happen.
I assume the film deliberately focused on the bomb squad as a bunch of guys doing a job rather than on questioning America’s presence in Iraq. The bombers were implicitly the bad guys, but it’s hard to see how they could be portrayed as anything but self-interested psychopaths. I don’t know whether the rules of engagement were being criticised because there were more than a few scenes where the American soldiers might’ve started shooting because of the imminent danger they were probably facing.
This is some BBC TVM which brought Men Who Stare at Goats to my attention. As for the film itself, it seemed loosely based on the book, at least as far as I vaguely remember the book. Sooner rather than later I’ll vaguely remember this film.
[31.07.14. If I hadn’t written this entry and if I’d never seen it again, I would never have remembered this film. If I remember Men Who Stare at Goats rightly, it was utter bollocks.]