12.no end in sight
build me a ladder of logic up to the sky, a string of carefully constructed proofs that creatively illumine the uncertain state of this world and that beyond. that's my charge to any issue-oriented documentary; do that and i'll happily climb the rungs of your rhetoric. i am so charmed by logic that if a filmmaker sugercoats truth or skillfully twists on-screen action away from one view or another, i'm likely to miss it, likely to fall into the rational trap of the film's narrative.
all that to say, although i can't be sure of the objectivity of no end in sight, the movie makes me angry, angry that the occupation of iraq was undertaken in a fog of idiocy. no end convincingly argues that our leaders had access to effective means of avoiding a full-scale insurgence but they chose to plug their ears, close their eyes, and clash by night.
still, i don't know where to go from there. i obediently followed no end's story arc, and just as the title might suggest, it left me without a conclusion, without some sense of what to do next. this frustration is complicated by the increasing optimism of the war in iraq. no end leaves us in 2007, when things were still going horribly wrong, but now in 2008 the latest AP reports suggest that there may in fact be an end in sight. and so, while no end may be a fine piece of cinematic rhetoric, i seriously question it's timelessness and application for the world today.
and here's another rhetorical success. this film (not a documentary) successfully demonstrates the injustice of "stop-loss," the US military's doctrine of reinstating soldiers after their tours of duty have already been completed, that is, sending them back to iraq against their will. i might gripe that some of the film's characters behaved incongruously to their personalities or life scenarios, and that the film may have went a little overboard in some places, but like no end in sight, stop-loss is a likely candidate to make you mad. oh, and get these guys some prazosin!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
12.no end in sight