Redacted: The Iraqi War according to YouTube

  • Sarah Arnold


REDACTED: THE IRAQI WAR ACCORDING TO YOUTUBE Using the increasingly popular format and style of the mockumentary or 'found footage', Brian de Palma's Redacted (2007) aims to present one minor yet horrific event of war through the media with which contemporary audiences are, by this stage, familiar: amateur footage (such as that uploaded to YouTube and other sites daily), video-messaging, news and documentary footage, as well as CCTV and other surveillance footage. The proliferation of such war images may point to the collapsing of spatial and geographical boundaries by bringing the war closer to home and by making it more personal. Yet, as the film indicates, this very imagery serves to depersonalize war for the spectator-viewer, as well as for the participants and soldiers, who perceive themselves as filmmakers and stars. Indeed throughout the film 'found' excerpts from Arab, French and US media point to the globalized investment in...