Artistic Response to the War in Iraq
The artist of the short film Thru the Ozone the War in Iraq presents a slideshow of pictures portraying the war, casualties from the war both American and Iraqi as well as pictures of presidents and political figures involved in the war. The film is set to music by Jon Mark “The Eye of the Hawks”, it is a sort of melancholy music that allows you to really be in the moment with the photos shown. There are multiple quotes throughout the film from political figures that help guide the viewer to consider the videos theme.
The theme of this film seems to be that gas is and was the cause of the war in Iraq. Also that war over gasoline was not worth all the lives lost. The viewer is pulled in by photos of fighter jets flying over the country and beginning to set down bombs. It is apparent that the artist wants the viewer to see the destruction that war causes. The viewer is then looking at photos of some of the politicians who were involved in the decision of the United States going to war with Iraq. The politicians state that the U.S. will not be there long. Because the film is a few years old the viewer may already know that this is not true.
The artist of the film portrays the politicians as merely figures standing in front of the war hiding the truth. The truth being that this war was violent and the U.S. was, according to this film not liberators, but enemies of the people in Iraq. You can see this very clearly through the pictures of the torture and humiliation by U.S. soldiers. A very striking photo is one where an Iraqi man is tied up on a leash and it looks as if the soldier is walking him like a dog. To the viewer this picture is horrifying and evokes a very sad emotion. The artist of the film is trying to show the viewer the very core of the war. The artist wants the viewer to see the pure violence that can come out in human beings when they are put in positions of power and control.
A very powerful quote found in the video is said by Barbara Bush, she states, “why should we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it’s not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?” This quote truly makes the viewer question how important American lives are to politicians. If the war on Iraq truly was about oil as the artist portrays in the video, was it really worth all the lives lost? To the viewer it seems as though the politicians could care less about the deaths of U.S. citizens.
At the end of the video the viewer sees the innocent children that were casualties forgotten in the war. These photos bring up an emotion of anger. Anger that the general American public was not aware that this is truly what happens in war. Innocent people who cannot even comprehend why this is happening to them are so hurt.
This is a film that brings up an array of emotions. It is brutally honest and it is obvious that the artist would not have made it any other way. He wanted the viewer to see the truth behind this war. According to the artist the truth was that the war was truly only about oil and the politicians who backed the war could have cared less who was left behind. The viewer is left to question the American government and whether this war was really needed.