The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For more information on films playing in the Cinémathèque, please call 773-281-4114. To order advance tickets online, visit the TicketWeb website by clicking here.
FULL BATTLE RATTLE
Special Jury Award SXSW Film Fest
"A remarkably thorough and detailed account of the difficult conditions facing American soldiers in Iraq" -New York Times
"Deceptively modest... Given the situation that might have been conceived by Philip K. Dick (or Walt Disney), the documentary could have been devised to satirize the theses of French theorists Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio" -Village Voice
-New York Post
½ "A provocative though simulated look at an actual complicated mess" -Chicago Tribune
"The filmmakers' intelligence lies in their understatement, letting the surreal setting largely speak for itself" -NewCity Chicago
Critics' Choice! "The soldiers and those hired to portray villagers are so immersed in their role-playing that they take method acting to a new level" -Chicago Reader
"Full Battle Rattle works just fine as a two-fisted combat story... But the added layer of pretense pushes the movie to another level" -Onion A.V. Club
Deep within the Mojave Desert, the United States army has erected a cluster of fake Iraqi villages where American soldiers spend three weeks training before deployment. Valued at over a billion dollars, this simulation employs thousands of role-players and a team of specialists who choreograph their every move. At first glance, viewers might assume they are looking at footage from the war, as every detail, from reporters to assassinations to medical emergencies and negotiations, is recreated to prepare the soldiers for real action. Full Battle Rattle observes Army officers explaining local customs to a confused force, under orders to bring "peace and stability" to a place they know nothing about — and one that appears to be disintegrating before their eyes. Focusing specifically on the village of Medini Wasl, the film moves — with both humor and horror - between the perspectives of the soldiers and those of the "civilians," a great number of whom are played by Iraqi exiles. Filmmakers Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss offer a startling look at this most unusual "theatre of war" and the effects on its "actors." In a town that is all too fake, the war (tragically) remains all too real.
Directed by Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss, U.S.A., 2008, BetaSP, 85 mins.