Monday, June 21, 2010

the longest days and the shortest nights

Viva la muerte (1970)

"One day some soldiers captured some Arabs; poor Arabs who had committed no other crime than to try to escape the brutality of their conquerors. The Colonel commanded them to be put to death immediately, without an inquiry, without a trial. And this is what happened: There were thirty of them. They dug thirty holes in the sand, and they buried them up to their necks, naked, with their heads shaved, in the noonday sun. So they wouldn't die too fast they watered them from time to time, like cabbages." —Octave Mirbeau, The Torture Garden (the first page of which reads: "To Priests, Soldiers, Judges -- to men who rear, lead or govern men I dedicate these pages of murder and blood.")
"What they've done in the field now is, they tell the troops, you have to make a determination within a day or two or so whether or not the prisoners you have, the detainees, are Taliban. You must extract whatever tactical intelligence you can get, as opposed to strategic, long-range intelligence, immediately. And if you cannot conclude they're Taliban, you must turn them free. What it means is, and I've been told this anecdotally by five or six different people, battlefield executions are taking place. Well, if they can't prove they're Taliban, bam. If we don't do it ourselves, we turn them over to the nearby Afghan troops and by the time we walk three feet the bullets are flying. And that's going on now." —Seymour Hersh, journalist

1 comment:

Hectocotylus said...

A limited edition DVD set -- Fernando Arrabal Collection 2 -- has recently been released. See some screen shots HERE. Many of the films sound interesting:

"Car Cemetery (1983): Combining punk rock and post-apocalyptic mayhem, Arrabal's outrageous adaptation of his infamous 1958 stage play is a gallows-humor romp in a wretched dystopia. One of Arrabal's most rare and wanted films. The Emperor of Peru (1982): A charming and phantasmagoric children's film that stars Mickey Rooney. Rarely seen outside of a brief theatrical run and a long out-of-print videocassette release. And three bonus films as part of the exclusive box set: Farewell, Babylon! (1992), Borges, Life of a Poet (1998) Arrabal, Panik Cineast (2007)."