In the Dark


Body of Lies
Produced by De Line Pictures and Scott Free Productions
Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by William Monahan
Distributed by Warner Brothers

Director Ridley Scott and his scenarist William Monahan adapted Body of Lies from David Ignatius’ novel of the same title.  The narrative is yet another sorry tale of our military presence in the Middle East, the tar baby our neocon establishment insisted we attack five years ago.  Like Brer Rabbit, we’ve been mired in the region’s sticky embrace ever since.  The more we fight, the more we’re ensnared.

Like the other films on the subject, Scott seems to want to say something important, but like the others he has left out the key ingredient: His film does not mention Israel once.  The closest he comes to referencing our primary ally in the region is by way of a delicate circumlocution that uses a human pawn in the narrative’s cynical espionage game—a young Arab who has been driven to fanaticism by having suffered with his family in a Palestinian refugee camp since his infancy.  Nothing is said of how he came to be in the camp, of course.  An invisible purdah continues to veil the inconvenient facts of 1948 and the routing of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers.  The only films to address the origins...

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