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Robbins' antiwar satire now on DVD

Review by John Gallagher | December 2, 2005 | Page 9

Embedded Live, a play written and directed by Tim Robbins.

TIM ROBBINS' Embedded Live is one of the best antiwar theatrical satires this year. In this hour-and-a-half play, Robbins intertwines three different storylines, giving the audience a whole host of reasons to be against the war in Iraq.

First up are the nervous soldiers apprehensive about leaving their families behind and hoping that things will get better when everything is over.

Then there are Bush's cabinet who appear through the play in a gang-like setting figuring out how to spin political questions to their advantage: when to start the war, how to justify it, how they need to make the decisions for the "uneducated public." In a hilariously bizarre scene, the warmongers honor their theoretical founder, uber-conservative Leo Strauss, with a mantra that leads to a crazed, erotic climax.

Finally Robbins takes on the "embedded" press corps. Before they are allowed to report anything, they're given the rules of play from a military drill instructor. "We will not report the number of Iraqi deaths" and "We will not print anything not approved by U.S. military personnel" are just a few of the commands they must obey.

But as more evidence about the farcical weapons of mass destruction are unveiled, even the reporters feel forced to print stories so they can keep their legitimacy.

You will have a hard time finding this play live on stage, but luckily it's now available on DVD, including through Netflix.

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