October 16, 2007


RenditionI got tickets to a pre-release screening of Rendition from Samit who couldn't make it. Rendition releases nationwide this Friday, and is a movie about the U.S. practice of extraordinary rendition with an all-star cast. Unfortunately, although I think the story is there, it doesn't have enough time to really explore the subject and its political agenda is blatantly clear, rather than one that forms in the mind of the viewer through the story and characters. I think it could have done more justice to the topic if the movie was an hour longer, and if the director had not chosen to create a "smart" ending that pushes aside the real point of the film and also happens to make the plot nonsensical.

The negative consequences of the practice of rendition are only exposed through the actions of Khalid El-Emin and Fatima Fawal but the movie depicts the horrors of rendition through the character of Anwar El-Ibrahimi. This presents a real disconnect, because Anwar is the one who the audience identifies with as the innocent and tortured, and as an American. Khalid is a foreigner who displays anger at the world he is living in. The consequences and long-term impact upon Anwar, his family, and the people involved in his detention, are not explored. Yet those are some of the most important political and moral problems associated with this practice.

I also don't think this movie is going to be able to change anyone's existing opinions on the practice of extraordinary rendition. It was fairly clear that the audience majority at the theater was against the practice. Despite this, I felt it was not always an emotional opposition, but for some only an objective opposition; the movie includes some attempts at lightening the mood (which I think is a mistake) and the laughter is something I could not participate in. Luna did not particularly like the movie because it is just a reminder to her of the bad things that are going on, which she doesn't want to see.

Anyone that agrees with the argument of necessity will attack the movie for having such a clear agenda and declare the film a fictional story that is not representative of the truth. And even if they can get past there, the movie does not require such a person to reach an internal conflict in their thought processes to force them to question their own beliefs. That's an extremely hard thing to do, and you can't do it with rhetoric as the movie attempts to do.

Lastly, I was disappointed with the ending. You go through the film being constantly subjected to the dilemmas of extraordinary rendition, and then the ending suddenly requires you to shift gears and try and figure out exactly what happened. And in doing so, you are forced to leave the theater thinking about that, instead of thinking about the real subject matter. Plus, if you actually think it through, the plot as presented is not congruent with the ending, and to some degree it would appear the consequences no longer torment those involved.

Posted by josuah at October 16, 2007 6:20 AM UTC+00:00

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

July 2013
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31