kepkanation sets me straight on my complaints about The Dry Land:
I think in part this only feels tired and overdone, and like she’s playing the “kicky, curvy Latina girlfriend” because the majority of the movies about Iraq and Afghanistan so far have made the deployments about white guys with their white buddies and their white girlfriends/wives (think Brothers, which was, sure, a remake from the Dutch, but Americanizing a movie shouldn’t necessarily mean keeping it/making it white; Stop-Loss;Hurt Locker; etc). At least here there’s not just the Latina girlfriend but also the Latino former colleague. Movies about the war should start looking a bit more like the face of war; that doesn’t seem like a waste of Ferrara’s time or talents.
I do think one problem I have as a critic right now is that I burned myself out really aggressively on war movies for a piece I wrote last summer. I loved The Hurt Locker and liked In the Loop, I think in part because I’m having a hard time with movies that reduce soldiers to trauma victims. I want that to be true in life as well as in art, I want things to be lest bad, less grinding, less far from the end than they are. But kepkanation is right that representing the full range of experience that soldiers have is the most important thing, both aesthetically and politically.