Tag: Green Zone


by on Aug.14, 2010

Following up on Joyelle’s post about The Bourne Identity, I saw Green Zone on a transatlantic flight last week. It was like watching Bourne 4. Same Damon holding it steady with no backstory, same director (as Bourne 2 and 3) holding the camera unsteady. Same contrast between men of action who demand our respect and weaselly pencil pushers talking dramatically into phones. Same reproductive futurism that Joyelle points out (substitute “For The Future of Iraq” for “For The Children”). As with Bourne 1, the central question of identity that Damon relentlessly asks is not “Who am I?” but “Why am I here?” Unlike Bourne 1, where no immediate answer is evident, Green Zone offers up an initial, false answer: Matt Damon is in Iraq because “WMDs” exist. The rest of the movie is about Damon exposing their non-existence. So while Bourne 1 is built around a blank trauma that is then filled in with detail, Green Zone is built around a detailed trauma that is then erased. We’re left with nothing. It’s as if Bourne 4 (aka Green Zone) is an attempt to strip away the identity established in the first movie, as if identity is predicated on trauma, and all traumas are only emblems of trauma. In other words, the real trauma is there is no trauma. A true identity is no identity.

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