Archive for May 17th, 2009

the hunting partyA satirical drama with a powerful message based on the Esquire article by Scott K. Anderson. The film starts with the quote “Only the most ridiculous parts of this story are true” this is followed by a pre credit prologue that introduces the two main characters. Simon Hunt (Richard Gere) a brilliant but flawed journalist who has an emotional breakdown on live TV and Duck (Terrence Howard) his cameraman who also gives the voiceover. All this happens while the two are covering wars in various parts of the world but most notably Bosnia.

gere and howard the hunting partyJump forward five years the war is over but the most wanted war criminal known as The Fox is still at large despite a five million dollar bounty on his head. Hunt convinces his former cameraman to help him track down the war cranial. Eventually he agrees and is joined by young naive journalist Benjamin Strauss (Jesse Eisenberg). As they follow a lead and go looking for The Fox Hunt reveals he is looking for more than just an interview. Things are confused even further when they are mistaken for a CIA hit squad.

The film is fantastically acted (particularly by the underrated Terrence Howard) and beautifully shot. Its message is very political and one sided but is portrayed with enough power to make me want to look further into the situation.

the hunting party gereThe film finishes with an explanation that film is based on real people (five journalists not three) and that there are still war criminals who have not been found and says:

“In theory, the hunt for war criminals in Bosnia continues to this day…

However, the two most wanted men – Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mfadic – continue to elude the U.S., The United Nations, The European Union, NATO, The Hague and all in the civilized world who claim to be looking for them.

In the ten years that Radovan Karadzic has been on the run, he has published two books and one play.

Perhaps if the International Community opened a summerstock theatre…

…But they‘re probably too busy “searching“ for Osama Bin Laden.”

As a work of fiction this is an enjoyable if often disturbing film. If the events portrayed are indeed true it only adds to the power of the film that amazingly failed to get a UK cinema release. Look out for a cameo from Diane Kruger.

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