'People Will Be Arguing Over This Film'
By Yael Lavie
Middle East producer
Updated: 20:31, Friday August 31, 2007
American director Brian De Palma is launching his controversial new film based on the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl by US troops.
Director De Palma
The creator of classics like Scarface, Casualties of War and The Untouchables is tackling the Iraq war and Bush administration head on with the movie Redacted.
Sky News gained exclusive access to the set of the film in April, and asked De Palma his hopes and motive for the production going on show in Venice this week.
He said: "I am sure before the movie comes out people will say, 'De Palma lost his mind, doing a $5m video project'. That's how I want to tell this story, under the Hollywood radar.
"When I read about the Mahmudiyah incident in Iraq 2006 - five US soldiers raped a local girl, killed her and her family and later tried to disguise it as an insurgent attack - I knew I had a story.
On the film set
"Redacted tells its story using modern forms of media covering the war. Net blogs, web reporting and other aspects unique to the conflict are featured heavily in it.
"Iraq is all over the internet; soldier blogs, YouTube videos. Even the rape scenario of the incident is reconstructed on a site called Legofesto - using Lego.
"I got this idea of having the story told through the eyes of a soldier character who is documenting his unit's life in Iraq on mini DV."
'We need to stomach it'
De Palma told Sky News Online: "I feel like one of the characters in my film that goes along with the rape in spite of his moral objection to it.
"In real life, I feel helpless to stop these horrible things that are happening, this horrible war that I am financing as an American citizen."
But the director has doubts over how the film will do down with the audiences.
"People will be arguing over this film... that is what I hope will happen, depending on how successful it is," he said.
"It is un-American to criticise the government... Personally, I am not scared. I am the man they love to hate. I am sure they will say; 'It's another De Palma misogynist saga'.
"But this film is about Americans at war and what we do and we need to stomach it."