[Marxism] Saul Landau on "In The Valley of Elah" or, David and Goliath in Iraq

Dayne Goodwin daynegoodwin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 12 13:37:08 MDT 2007


I agree, wonderful film.  Yes, it is not didactic but i think it is an
explicit condemnation of the war in Iraq - in an understated message
that isn't absolutely clear until the very last image.  And if you
wait for the dedication that appears after the lengthy credit crawl at
the v-e-r-y end, i think it is clear that it is an antiwar film.

Tommy Lee Jones defended the film as an antiwar film in this USA Today
interview:
http://news.aol.com/entertainment/movies/story/ar/_a/jones-ready-for-any-elah-fallout/
20070912071409990001

Landau's review and interrogation of the innards of the war in Iraq is
great but i think this paragraph of Landau's is closest to getting the
basic message of the film:

"Does the clue for the larger mystery lie in the film's title, "In the
Valley of Elah," the place where David transcended fear to accomplish
the unthinkable? Does this biblical story that Hank relates to the
young son of a sympathetic police detective at bedtime relate to the
meaning of courage in the Iraq War context? Is the new Goliath the
war machine itself with tens of thousands of factories and
contractors 435 congressional districts that feeds the local and
national economies? Few politicians dare confront it with a weapon as
simple as a stone and slingshot: the truth?"

I like to think that the message to the perceptive viewer is that *they, we, i*
have to summon up the courage to oppose and act to stop this war.
Dayne



On 10/11/07, Walter Lippmann <walterlx at earthlink.net> wrote:
> I meant to write about this wonderful movie which is not didactically
> opposed to the war, but shows the dehumanizing effects of the war on
> the cannon-fodder, their families, and everyone else who gets exposed
> to the war itself. And then Saul Landau wrote up here even more than
> I'd had the energy to say. It's a terrific movie and still having a
> theatrical run. Everyone who enjoyed CRASH and other similar films
> will certainly enjoy this one. I think it's particularly powerful as
> it does NOT explicitly politically challenge the war, but slowly and
> inevitably leads its viewers to question the entire enterprise of the
> war in Iraq, as the film unfolds in the format of a thriller.)
> =======================================================================
>
> PROGRESO WEEKLY
> October 11 - 17, 2007
> David and Goliath in Iraq
>
> http://progreso-weekly.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=184&Itemid=1
>
> By Saul Landau
 . . .




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