Thursday, March 27, 2008

We'll kill them all

I watched The Kingdom, thinking it looked interesting after seeing the trailer in class Thursday. Although the beginning was gripping, there was something about it that was unsettling. The backdrop is definitely oil related, but it seemed to be a film more about revenge and hatred justified by basing it around such a tender subject. It begins with an attack on a company softball game for an American oil company by local Saudi militants. An FBI agent is killed by a car bomb shortly after the attacks, and Jamie Foxx and three other agents somehow finagle their way to Saudi Arabia to investigate the attack. It was amazing to see how the local goverment guarded the American FBI agents who were investigating the attacks. It definitely made me wonder how much of that was a realistic portrayal of the actual situation and how much was dramatized for the silver screen.

The thing that disturbed me the most about this film was how they used children to garner an emotional response. On the American side, we're exposed to two children of the FBI agents, one whose father was killed in the attack. As much as they are portrayed as being innocent, the Saudi children are portrayed much different. A son of one of the militants, maybe 10ish, is forced to watch the initial attack on the softball game, against his will, and later ends up shooting one of the agents near the end of the movie. A young daughter is seen playing with a marble that was used to create shrapnel in the car bombing. It made me realize how lucky we are to not live in this situation; it is much easier to stomach war when it's not all around you. I can't imagine the fear instilled in a child when a car bombing, suicide bombing, or similar attack is a common occurance.

It is revealed at the end of the movie that Foxx and his team's motives in going to Saudi Arabia is to get revenge. He tells one of his colleagues not to cry about the other agents death because they will "kill them all." The movie ends with the young son saying his militant leader grandfather's last word to him were "don't fear them my son, we will kill them all." It definitely left me questioning our global relations, wondering if it will ever end.

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