Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Just when schlock purveyor Uwe Boll's career seemed like it couldn't get any more ridiculous and loathsome, he makes a movie about Darfur. Here's the recently released, 8-minute promotional trailer.

Note the presence of Bloodrayne costars Billy Zane and Kristanna Loken, the de rigueur handheld camerawork and the same mournful but exotic vocals on the soundtrack that seemingly every mainstream movie set in the Middle East or Africa has had since Gladiator, and the obvious dramatic ineptitude of it all (the latter apparently the result of Boll utilizing an improvisatory, method-acting-type approach with just about the last actors you'd ever want to see try out method acting). I was repulsed even before I read this interview with Boll, which is really quite appalling, even more so when you keep in mind the fact that he made Postal. Choice excerpt:

We all saw Hotel Rwanda and it shocked us all and everybody after the Rwanda massacre said this should never happen again. And the same in Yugoslavia and now we have the same situation in Sudan and we close our eyes again and you think, “what’s going on with us?” I’m normally not pro-military intervention but the reality is this is not a civil war, this is a massacre. If you know people are getting raped and children are getting hacked to pieces on a daily basis…NATO should have no other choice to protect (these people). I think we should go in there with helicopter patrols and stop the genocide. A movie like this can definitely create awareness for that.

This is the same man who just a couple movies ago played rape and the slaughter of children for yuks. I have no quarrel with tasteless humor, but there's a very good reason why you don't see Tromauteur Lloyd Kaufman attempting to make serious dramas about ongoing genocides.

The documentaries about Darfur like the Devil Came on Horseback or Darfur Now are great but nobody shows the massacres. With a feature film you can do that, you can show the rape, you see what they do with babies and so on. I think it will be hard and shocking but everything we show in the movie happens every single day there. I don’t think we can close our eyes, we have to say we can stop that. From this point of view it’s kind of a genre movie with a realistic approach behind it.

So apparently what dissatisfies Boll most with extant Darfur-centric cinema is its lack of tactlessly graphic atrocity footage. If any good comes out of this, it might be that, in much the same way that Boll's awful videogame adaptations bring the emptiness and inanity of their more competently executed, Hollywood-backed counterparts to the surface, Boll's Darfur might make plain just how misguided and patronizing the White People Witness Human Rights Abuses In Africa and Learn Something genre--and Boll's right, it's a genre--is.

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