Monday, October 30, 2006
- Chad Vader: Day/Night Shift Manager. These shorts chronicle the comic tales of Darth Vader's hapless cousin. Chad begins as the day shift manager at Empire Grocery, but is demoted to working the night shift, separating him from his heartthrob. Despondent at losing her and his former position to his nemesis, Lord Vader struggles to find the will to go on. These episodes are worth watching simply for title montage in which the dark lord plucks an apple from a produce display with his force powers while a morose acoustic guitar lethargically thrums the Imperial March.
My Country, My Country. When I learned of this documentary about Iraq in the 6 months prior to the January 2005 election, I assumed that it would make a compelling case against the US's involvement. I was wrong. The film is a series of poignant scenes, such as a mother and grandmother encouraging a daughter to swat a fly, surreally immune to the ambient pounding of gunfire and mortars. The candidacy and home life of a Baghdad doctor tie together these scenes. Following Doctor Riyadh allows the viewer to see a rich cross section of the Iraq capital's life from the abduction for ransom of a fellow physician's son to supporting emotionally and financially a woman whose husband only leaves the house to consort with Muqtada al-Sadr and even a trip to Abu Ghraib to evaluate prisoner health. The catch-22 of the America's position is subtly laid out: conditions are terrible for Iraqis and coalition troops and contractors, but clearly would be worse if the government fell. While I offer kudos to PBS for airing this work, I must admit this show is not for everyone: Elizabeth fell asleep watching.
On an entirely separate level, the film is fascinating because its creator has been placed on the terrorist watch list with the highest possible threat rating. According to Laura Poitras:
Since finishing My Country, My Country, I've been placed on the Department of Homeland Security's terror watch list. Returning to the U.S. in August 2006 after screenings in Europe, I was detained at two airports. In Vienna, I was escorted out of the terminal to a police inspection area and was notified by security that my 'threat rating' was 400 points — the highest the Department of Homeland Security assigns. Upon arrival at JFK airport, I was again escorted by security to a holding area until Homeland Security gave permission for me to enter the country.
In my defense, I was very tired. But I probaby wouldn't have fallen asleep watching Gilmore Girls or BSG...Post a Comment