Anaconda Targets

Video made by Dominic Angerame in 2004.

About 2,000 troops from the US led military coalition were engaged in close in combat on March 4, 2002 with small pockets of suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the rugged terrain of northeastern Afghanistan as part of an operation called Operation Acaconda....

Film notes
'Anaconda Targets , a documentation tape of aerial bombings by the American military in Afghanistan, depicts the devastating effect of smart bombs. Not often featured in media reports, the soldiers' voices form the soundtrack that accompanies these chilling images. The document has been appropriated by filmmaker Dominic Angerame as a critique of his government's military aggression. --Susan Oxtoby

'Other than appending a a title card and a quotation by media theorist Paul Virilio at the beginning, Angerame's latest videowork is a complete found-object: military footage of an offensive operation on a mosque in Afghanistan. It's a cliché for me to point out that for the first few minutes of the running time, I honestly couldn't tell if I was watching actual military surveillance imaging or a videogame, but the ineluctable appositeness of the cliché seems to be one of Angerame's major points. After CNN and Baudrillard and, in fact, Virilio, we still have the same problem -- X-Box Warriors of eighteen and nineteen going off to execute our ordnance. Some viewers I spoke with were rankled by Angerame's bald, untreated presentation of the material, feeling like not enough 'art' had been performed. But this viewpoint overlooks context, the resistant act of dropping this horrendous material into the rarefied aesthetic domain of an experimental film screening. (As Americans, our tax dollars spent millions in the production of this lo-tech snuff film.) In the end, nothing else in the Views program jolted me so far out of my contemplative state of mind; sitting and watching the next film, as opposed to leading the entire audience out into the street for some uncivil disobedience, felt vaguely obscene. And yet... And yet... we know it's never that simple. Right? --Michael Sicinski



Technical data

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12 minutes


Copies for rent:
Canyon Cinema
Light Cone

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