This film is a chilling—and often hard to watch—study of the crass over-simplifications and blood-thirsty zealotry of both the lap dogs of the far right here in America, as well as that of the Islamic extremists, presumably in Iraq, the country with whom we’re presently at war. I, for one, feel that the impassioned patriots who put together Buried in the Sand should be applauded for presenting us with this brave and unblinking look at just what can go wrong when human heads and hearts get clogged up with absolute certainty. It takes no more than a minute or two into the film before we have the cow pie of certainty slapped into our faces when faux-anchorman Mark Taylor seats himself purposefully in the middle of a darkened set with chain-link fences all around. Even the cover of the DVD has the fence motif, with a determined looking Dubya (and Old Glory) on one side of the fence and a shabby Saddam (post spider hole) looking menacing on the other side. The producers are obviously fence-loving folks with a strong, pitbull-like territoriality streaks. (And, by the way, which side of the fence are YOU on???)
Looking stilted and grim, with a cheesy sanctimonious delivery that reminded me a little bit of the psychic “Criswell” in Plan 9 from Outer Space, anchorman-wannabe Taylor informs us in no uncertain terms that the “radical left and mainstream media” have deceived the American public about America’s “moral obligation” to invade Iraq. He then not-so-slyly implies that Buried in the Sand is a reality check on the lies promulgated in infamous America-hater Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. Soon we delve into the choppy video images, culled from God only knowswhere, of Freddie Mercury-looking guys in berets reading from the Koran just before breaking prisoners’ arms with clubs and slicing their sinful tongues in half. Fingers and hands are hacked off as routinely as little kids cutting Play-Doh logs in half—except this “Play-Doh” squirts blood. The remainder of the film is a brutal, often confusing, hodge podge of harsh, sickening images of human beings being sliced, diced, shot, blown up, ripped open, lashed, bludgeoned, stoned, beheaded, and fricasseed all, apparently, in order to assuage the lurid appetites of the Great God Allah. Certainty, whether it’s religious or political or both, is a bad thing to have clogging up the works inside human heads, as this film surely attests to. As utterly gruesome as crimes against humanity are, the truth is that human rights violations, torture, and war crimes are taking place all over our hate-happy little globe, so the question then begs to be asked, what’s America’s “moral obligation” to those suffering similar fates in countries other than Iraq?
The funny—or sad—thing is that while the people behind this film seem confident that B.I.T.S. is a deft riposte to Fahrenheit 9/11, the out-of-context, largely unexplained video images crammed into this film present a “focus” that is so recklessly unfocused that you come away thinking that either all Middle Eastern people are homicidal religious kooks or that the people who cobbled this snuff film together are simpletons of such staggering dimwitted-ness as to rival that of G.W. himself. Buried in the Sand paints its points with such a large, sloppy brush that it’s virtually inevitable that some slower-thinking people will come away from the film with a dimly lit notion that all Moslems are to be regarded, at the very least, with utmost suspicion. Such an obvious, heavy handed attempt to ensnare people’s fears and fire up their hate on such a purely visceral level is right out of Jingoism 101.
Interestingly, many of the people responsible for B.I.T.S. don’t even reveal their full names in the credits at the end of the film, opting instead for anonymous abbreviations. I just think that seems a bit odd for such chest-thumpingly proud patriots as these. Surely Charlton Heston or John Wayne wouldn’t wuss out and go by “Chuck H.” or “J. Wayne.” But maybe it’s that these abbreviated souls, somewhere in the flickering storms rumbling in their neocortexes, have a vague sense that Buried in the Sand is an unintentionally multi-layered mess of all the naked, barbaric ugliness of both extreme religious zealotry and partisan political myopia knotted up together in a sloppy symbiotic 69 position. And that, furthermore, religious zealotry and partisan myopia are the two stinking ends of the rotten turd of so-called “faith-based” thinking (and to say that is to besmirch the good name of excrement). Unlike the people featured in this film and the people behind the making of this film, certainty is not my strong suit, but I can tell you this much: life only appears this black and white in the dilated eyes of true believers, on whatever side of the fence. I’m confident that Buried in the Sand is bound to be the Plan 9 of propagandistic schlock-umentaries and a sure-fire boner-maker for the ghouls who are titillated by the Faces of Death genre. There will be some squeamish folks, I imagine, who will suggest that Buried in the Sand deserves to be buried in the litterbox. I don’t agree. This film is too invaluable a study of Contracted Human Awareness; it lays bare, on more levels than the filmmakers realize, the most constipated backwaters of the human mind, where dogma and its procrustean enforcement tactics dwell. You would be hard pressed to find a more jarring illustration of what the Discordians mean when they say “convictions cause convicts.” One final note, I would like to strongly recommend that you do not do as I did and watch this film while attempting to eat lasagna. –Aphid Peewit (www.buriedinthesand.com)