Redacted To Confront Protests
Director Brian De Palma's latest film Redacted is scheduled to open tomorrow (Friday) in limited release as theater owners brace for possible protests. The film, inspired by the case of the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl by U.S. soldiers, has been condemned by Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly, who called on his audience to bring signs to theaters reading "Support Our Troops" and predicted that the movie "will incite anti-American hatred around the world." He also called the film's executive producer, Mark Cuban, an "anti-American" and encouraged fans of the Dallas Mavericks, which Cuban owns, to protest against the film at the team's games. O'Reilly described De Palma as "a true villain in our country." In response to such verbal assaults, the director told the Canadian Press, "I have been needlessly attacked in the press and the blogs as a left-wing wacko who should be horse-whipped, and how can I say anything terrible about what's going on in relation to the troops? ... I just state what I feel very strongly, and I don't have to be loved. ... I'm not running for office." In a separate interview with Philadelphia City Paper, De Palma accused the media of soft-pedaling the Iraq war, whereas during the Vietnam War, "we saw the images. We saw our casualties, we saw their casualties. That's what got us out into the streets, and that's what got us out of the war." At the end of Redacted, he shows a montage of victims of the Iraq War as well, although their faces have been digitally obscured, reportedly on orders from Cuban. Nevertheless, De Palma observed, the original photographs appear all over the Internet "and yet none of these images has ever gotten into the mainstream media. ... How does that happen?"