A telling moment occurs in the film Black Hawk Down (Bruckheimer & Scott, 2001) when the "reliable" Shawn Nelson is literally struck deaf by the gunfire of his partner. Nelson can no longer hear his fellow American soldiers, their gunfire, or the screams of his dying enemies. Prior to losing his hearing, Nelson puts in a mouth protector, explaining that on his last mission, he almost bit off his tongue. Thus, Nelson ensures that he will be able to speak of any evil he hears, but, alas, he becomes deal. Nelson's predicament somewhat parallels that of the audience of Ridley Scott's technically masterful film. Exposed to the depiction of an intense battle and immersed in a realistic rendering, one can hear only the immediacy of battle. Its deeper political implications have been silenced.


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