Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wind that Shakes the Barley

I talked to some one in who has seen this movie who found it very violent. Any movie about combating Irish terrorists is going to be violent. Considering Ken Loach's political sympathies the bogeyman will probably the tyranical British army that oppresses the Irish freedom fighters. Freedom fighter is the term you use will you approve either of the terrorist or his ideal.

My argument with the woman who was struck by the grimness of WTSTB yesterday was that many Brittish versions of pop culture are much grimmer and nastier. Judge Dredd is British comicbook "hero". He is not a lone super hero who fights for justice but a police that enforces law. Superman doesn't execute perps for crimes and misdemeanors, Judge Dredd does. Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer are both roleplaying games with a magic and medieval setting. Warhammer is sadder game played by people who know that bad things can and do happen. D&D is played in happy, sunlit suburbs devoid of even cartoon nihilism.

This movie is about the hard men of the IRA who rob, maim and murder in pursuit of a "Free Ireland". These are the only terrorists Americans have consistantly loved. I was Talking To a man from Scranton who said that IRA fundraisers still regularly visit. The movie is set between years after WW1 and the establishment of Irish Free State. The fighting in the movie as such is actually two wars. The first war is fought against the "forces of oppression" and the secound war is a civil war to control the new country. The story open with an Irish field hockey game , or hurling. The game violates the state emergency.After the game ends sides a squad of Black&Tans arrive annoyed at lawless disorder. One teenage idiot athlete mouths off and is beaten to death. This happy tone prevades the rest of the movie.

The movie was as violent as I was lead to believe. Many people in my immediate vicinity left not be able to take the gore. The actual amounts of violence is not that much when compared with war or slasher films. But what makes it grevious for the viewer is the emotional connection we feel. The murdered/killed/executed in the movie are not random mooks but characters that have been in many scenes before. Both executions are, at least in part, the IRA killing their own. The first IRA murder/execution is of teenager IRA terrorist who accidently blabed some tiny bit of tactical intelligence. He is whacked along with a local lord. The last execution is one our heroes, Damien, with his brother, Teddy, leading the execution squad. Shed no tears for Damien because earlier he follows orders and whacks his childhood friend.

There is also a torture scene after one where our friendly lads, the murdering scum, are arrested. This bothered me more because the torture was amateur then the pain being inflicted. The torture /interogration was done in an angry way tahat lead the questioner to miss some cruical questions. The torture focussed merely on the pain that physical injury can cause. Amateur hour. The problem with this sort of torture is the body eventually adjusts to the level of pain. The other problem with pulling out fingernails is that the exercise is not endless repeatable as the perp adjusts to new pain level and he runs out of fingernails, toenails and other easily damaged body parts. A better and repeaterable technique is the deprevation of oxygen or drowning. This is the submarine method, there is also the dry submarine where a plastic bag is placed over a perp head, but plastic bags were not readily available in 1920's Ireland. With the submarine you force the subject's head underwater to near point of drowning and repeat as neccessary until the subject is cooperative. You must also be careful not accidently drown the subject as this wastes time already invested.

What I learned: You can always find reasons to execute.

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