BURIED IN THE SAND
The Deception of America
Review by Michael Jacobson
Audio: Dolby Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: CYHL Pictures
Features: Factoids, Trailer
Length: 72 Minutes
Release Date: September 21, 2004
are not telling you the whole truth.”
a long time now I’ve been quite vocal in my opposition to Michael Moore and
what he does, which is essentially to pass off extremist propaganda as honest
political discourse in his books and films.
My differing political point of view had nothing to do with it, I’ve
argued, but to those who’ve supported what he had to say, I was little more
than some right wing fascist trying to suppress dissent.
comes the answer to everything Moore has had to say about the war on terror in a
film called Buried in the Sand. It’s
a movie that defends a lot of the points of view I’ve held dear over the past
few years. But just because I agree
with what it has to say doesn’t make it any less a disgusting, vile,
over-the-top piece of propaganda than Moore’s work. The left has called Michael Moore their answer to Rush
Limbaugh; I’m here to vehemently plea on the side of the right that WE don’t
need an answer to Michael Moore.
hosted by Mark Taylor, this is a picture that brings together just about every
depiction of brutality ever recorded against the regime of Saddam Hussein and
the terrorists who have tried to thwart the emergence of democracy in the Middle
East. These are the images that our
media have largely withheld from us in favor of daily force-feedings of pictures
of Abu Ghraib abuses. Many of them
have been talked about, but seldom seen. By
stringing them together and punctuating them with “this is why we fight”
sentiment, the film aims to win support for the war from those who have withheld
it’s no documentary any more than Moore’s works are. It’s nothing but right wing propaganda designed to get
audiences to forgo reason and intelligent thought and respond with emotional gut
reactions. I have no doubt the
power of the images contained in the course of the film will succeed in many
cases. But it hides behind a mask
of nobility while truthfully serving no noble purpose.
was one of many who were highly offended by Senator Ted Kennedy’s flippant
remark about how Saddam’s torture chambers were re-opened under U.S.
management. As an answer to him,
this film first shows some of the photos and video footage of the Abu Ghraib
abuses we were forced to endure for weeks and weeks.
But then, to leave no doubt as to the difference, comes earlier Abu
Ghraib video, when it was Saddam’s prison. We actually see Hussein’s prisoners being beaten to death
while listening to them scream and plead for their lives until their bodies
slump still from the soldiers’ clubbings.
that isn’t all. We see footage of
Iraqi citizens getting their fingers chopped off, their hands removed, their
arms broken. We hear prisoners
scream and cry while getting their bare feet beaten mercilessly. We see Iraqi stonings, where prisoners are tied, covered,
buried chest deep in sand and summarily bludgeoned with large rocks until
they’re blood soaked messes. We
see the footage of suicide bombers as filmed by the terrorists themselves for
their own purposes, including the carnage of the aftermath of an Israeli bus
bombing, showing severed limbs and bodies that appear to have been turned inside
out from the force of the blast.
film accuses the American media of being accomplices in trying to quell the
anger of our citizens by NOT showing us the footage of the four Americans in
Fallujah who were burned, beaten, and dragged in the streets and eventually hung
from a bridge, or the beheadings of Nicholas Berg and the others who preceded
and followed him. So Buried in
the Sand purports to right this great wrong by showing us all of it.
know what? I was boiling mad at the
perpetrators of these acts when I first heard about them months ago.
Seeing the graphic, nauseating footage wasn’t a necessary commodity for
me. Now that I’ve finally seen
it, it made me no angrier at the terrorists (that was impossible), but it filled
me with resentment that these filmmakers thought I needed to see it to have an
emotional response or to garner an appreciation for what our country and her
allies are trying to accomplish. This
movie is little more than Faces of Death with a political spin.
Michael Moore gregariously displayed the footage of the Columbine killings, I
condemned it as vile exploitation of the worst kind. Buried in the Sand is every bit its equal in that
department. I didn’t need to see
innocent school kids being shot up to appreciate the tragedy of that bleak day,
and I didn’t need to see a screaming Nicholas Berg having his head sawed off
and displayed to recognize the grim reality of the war on terror.
isn’t even a film that will preach to the choir. Those of us who support President Bush and the efforts in
Iraq do not need to be steeled, and if we did, it certainly wouldn’t come from
a movie like this. If this picture
does in fact convince anyone who protested the war to suddenly switch
sides…well, I’d feel more worried than happy.
The propaganda film seems to be making a comeback as a legitimate art
form and entertainment, and that’s not something I want to see.
I don’t need any American version of Goebbels trying to appeal to the
basest part of my being, whether I agree with the political point of view or
of the movie is comprised of poorly shot video of tortures and executions, so
you don’t expect a great deal of quality,
What’s curious is even the intermediate segments with host Mark Taylor
are poorly filmed. The lighting is
so bad that half of his face is dark and unintelligible throughout.
most of the audio that accompanies the guerilla video is bad, with dropouts,
noise and other inherent problems. Not
that it matters much…all you really need to hear are the screams.
disc features a trailer and accessible ‘factoids’.