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Full Battle Rattle

D: Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss

In less vigilant hands, Full Battle Rattle might easily have developed into another all too predictable rant against the U.S. military machine in Iraq. What saves it from such a fate is the ability of the filmmakers to imagine more than one point of view, allowing their narrative to dictate the film's politics. Rattle follows a single Army battalion through final training at the U.S. government's billion-dollar Iraqi simulation compound, located deep in California's Mojave Desert. At the film's emotional core sits the battalion's ill-prepared commander, his immediate charges, and equally, a group of Iraqi immigrants, many of whom have been playing fictional roles in relative isolation for as long as three years. As the battalion fails to meet objectives, what emerges is not so much a simulated theatre of war as "one big reality TV show" – and in turn, a multi-layered allegory for the current situation in Iraq.

Friday, March 14, 8pm, Alamo Ritz

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