Thursday, January 19, 2012

Edouard Salier - Flesh (2005)


The Empire unveils everything but sees nothing. Its enemies idealize everything but tolerate nothing
For some the earthly orgasm of virtual whores ; for others the eternal orgasm of 70 heavenly virgins.
What if it all came down to flesh?

Flesh assembles Americans and terrorists. As corrupt, libidinous and excessive as religious fundamentalists want to present it, America the superpower is filled with such fervour and energy that it manages to feed its own aggressions, containing within itself a violence,
inherent to the very foundation of its Empire.
Flesh shows how the kamikaze planes have only added fuel to the flames and stirred the arrogance and imperialist mind-set of a superpower that is full of contradiction : the airliners attacks have finally no effect on the town; on the contrary, they only increase the spectacular
decadence they are trying to knock down. The more the planes attack the town, the more debauchery, gigantism, images of violence and the hellish town proliferate.
Flesh does not intend to take sides for or against the United States or Islamic fundamentalists, it’s a reinterpretation of the events of September 11th and its aftermath, which saw the reassertion of a superpower and increase in the hegemony and military supremacy,
accompanied by the rising importance of morals and puritanism, on the one hand; and on the other, a radicalising of the fight against the decadent West, with the promise, supposedly written in the Koran, of better days in Heaven.
Flesh plays with the ambiguity of the two camps and doesn’t favour any side. The text that opens the film contains a reference to the 70 virgins promised by recruiters as a reward to terrorists (the concept comes from an ambiguous section of the Koran, that has lent itself to much polemic in Islam regarding its translation and interpretation).
Though the section of the Koran lends to confusion and obviously needs to be handled with care, its abusive usage by the recruiters of suicide bombers is without a doubt. These naked girls are also the fantasy of a kamikaze before he hits the towers, thus the decadent West he intended to destroy is also a source of desire, pushed by a religious fundamentalism that attacks the West all the while playing on its attraction.
The film does not judge but points out the ambivalence and internal contradictions of the two powers, and how the erroneous or deceitful point of view on their own moral state can engender and maintain a permanent war.
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