Two war correspondents are escorted to a recently bombed town. The apparent perpetrators are about to be executed in front of a baying mob of survivors. One journalist doubts the guilt of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Harry Sondheim
...
Jake Wells
Hosh Kane ...
Sergeant
...
Officer
Anwar A. Ansari ...
Elderly Refugee
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Prisoner Salem (as Louis Alsamari)
Mohammed Aslam ...
Prisoner
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Prisoner
Haqi Ali ...
Militia
Rener de Oliveira Sales ...
Militia
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Militia (as Uriel Emil Pollack)
...
Militia
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Storyline

Two war correspondents are escorted to a recently bombed town. The apparent perpetrators are about to be executed in front of a baying mob of survivors. One journalist doubts the guilt of the adolescent prisoners; the other believes they are not there to take sides but to take pictures... Written by Rupert Wyatt

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Plot Keywords:

pilot | photography | journalism | See All (3) »

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Short | War

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10 October 2004 (USA)  »

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2.35 : 1
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OK but the lack of substance is a problem
25 September 2005 | by (Birmingham, UK) – See all my reviews

Two journalists are taken by the local army into a small town that has become a graveyard after a terrorist attack. Jake starts taking pictures right away and continues as they are taken into a hall where four young men are being held by a group of mourners – supposedly responsible for the attack. As the mob prepares to kill the men, Harry refuses to take any part in it while Jake struggles to decide whether or not he should cover it or take a stand.

The premise makes it sound better than it really is, because the degree of unknowns within the plot and other weak aspects undermine the value that the film has in other areas. The plot is as simple as I have said above and it was a problem for me that it didn't go any deeper than that. Without a location or an understanding of the conflict it does very much come down to how well the film looks at the idea of journalism and how difficult it is to stay neutral. It does this reasonable well but I thought it could have done it a lot better – such as it is there isn't any real debate or thought about the subject, both characters seem to have made their mind up and if Jake is caught on the throws of a dilemma then the audience are not privy to it.

The cast don't have a great deal to do. Cox is always going to be worth watching and his presence is a blessing here but he doesn't have much to do with a one-note performance. Owen has a more interesting character to work with (potentially) but the material doesn't help him and his performance is unconvincing. The support cast are all realistic and natural and help set the feel of the place. Wyatt's direction is very good though and he does well to build tension – although it is also his fault that the material is weak as he also wrote.

Overall an OK short film but one that lacks the debate and thought that I'd hoped it would have. It is tense and reasonably interesting with good direction but it was the lack of substance that put me off and left me unlikely to return to it for a second run.


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