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Triage or the story of war

April 6, 2010

SOURCE: cinema e videogiochi

Originally post by Monica Gasbarri on Cinema e Videogiochi

The French word ‘triage’ indicates the sorting of wounded persons giving the injuries a rate of severity, and therefore applying them to each patient depending upon the conditions in which he arrived. In the film by Danis Tanovic, triage is the daily routine of a Kurdish doctor in a makeshift field hospital set up in the desert. A daily sorting of bodies battered: yellow – still life, blue – you no longer escape. Yellow or blue, salvation or euthanasia. It is the spectacle of war that Mark and David, freelance photojournalists, arrive to document with their Nikon [cameras], to show the world a reality that newspapers are not interested in.

Triage, recently released on DVD by 01 Distribution, contains a first-rate cast: An excellent Colin Farrell, an always ripe Christopher Lee and Paz Vega in a beautiful and moving acute reflection on the craft of reporters and mission of the journalist / documentarian. It’s a tale emblematic of the mechanism of morbid interest that pushes us toward it the more it scares and the more it hurts. It’s about two worlds separated and divided, with our consciousness in the middle, which can not be peaceful and stable in either, as Mark points out in a scene. Danis Tanovic constructs a choice of narratives and of memories past and present through its characters, that works very well, loading the end of the film with a dramatic tension that fully reveals the harsh reality that had remained under our noses thus far.

Of the most moving scenes in Triage are those in which the protagonist tells the psychiatrist his ‘war stories’, stories of his personal horror, that of a mere spectator, forced against his will to interact with the reality of death and suffering of others, involuntarily becoming an active part of the picture. The interference of a man with a target (in the mechanical sense of the word) is structured in different ways, with him discovering a time of unwitting responsibility for a killing and as a bearer of a momentary peace. Bravissimo Colin Farrell to stage the present and the past of a complex character, making him a wealth of suppressed pain and guilt, removed and somatized in every gesture and every movement of Mark, in every glance.

The part written for Christopher Lee was also very nice in the dual level of interpretation that becomes apparent upon a second viewing of the film. Critical consciousness as a psychiatrist who is treating the protagonist, his character, Joaquin, in hindsight is what Tanovic chooses to use to lay the more difficult issues to think about on and they have general value even beyond the context of the film: what can and can not withdraw the eye from documenting the horror of war?

The DVD offers no special extras, but the message in Triage is already strong enough to push the viewer, perhaps touched by the moving end, to deepen personal awareness and ethical issues surrounding the representation of war and its victims.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. TMeyer permalink
    April 6, 2010 3:20 pm

    This read was kinda intriguing. I’m still waiting to see this. I can’t believe the dvd is out in Italy and the films not playing in the US yet. What up?

  2. X811 permalink
    April 7, 2010 5:25 am

    Thanx for the translating, ‘No Man’s Land’ was great, I want to see this too. How long ago was this made, anyone know?

  3. Deanna permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:15 am

    This movie sounds so good. I loved the trailer. Do you know if the Italian dvd has an English option for watching?

  4. rob_g permalink
    April 7, 2010 1:10 pm

    that’s an idea but i’d rather see it at the movies

  5. Sarah permalink
    April 8, 2010 1:34 am

    I’m still really hoping this movie gets a release in the US. It’s been a long wait and it seems not hopeful since it’s already played in much smaller markets, but I’m still hoping 🙂

  6. DetroitMan permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:02 am

    I barely recognized Farrell in the trailer. He’s grown up alot in recent years. This looks like one of those ‘thinker’ films. I would expect to at least see it in art houses.

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