Friday, 28 January 2011

Memories of Underdevelopment

Memories of Underdevelopment

Memorias del Subdesarrollo

Directed by Tomás Gutiérrez Alea

Cuba 1968

As the revolution itself, the creation of the Instituto Cubano de la Industria Cinematográfica (ICAIC— Cuban Film Institute) on March 24, 1959, changed everything on Cuba. Since then (only two months and three weeks after the beginning of the revolution) all matters involving film were concentrated in ICAIC. The words “Film is an art,” written in the original declaration that established ICAIC as a revolutionary institution, set the stage for the high standards demanded of Cuban filmmaking. Cuban cinematography, especially during the mythic years of the first decade of the triumphant revolution, has been characterized by high artistic level and loyalty to the revolution, while at the same time reflecting the contradictions and problems of the national reality.

Director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, the most renowned director of Castro-era Cuba (famous for making Cuba’s first gay-themed movie, 1993’s Strawberry and Chocolate), was a middle-class university-educated Cuban but still a devoted supporter of the revolution and somebody who did his work in the pay of the state. He went along with revolution despite some of the doubts about emerging bureaucratism. His Memories of Underdevelopment stands as one of the best examples of Cuban artists' independence and efforts to create whole new forms for political art. Of all the dozens of films produced in Cuba in first decade of revolution, through Castro's insistence on the importance of the cinema, this film is the most sophisticated. So much so, in fact, that those opposed to the revolution called it a magnificent and unrepeatable fluke, that seems to look on actually successful revolution with dejection and frustration. Those in favour cherished it as a landmark that avoided almost all of the radical cliches. Since he supported revolution we can presume that Alea wanted us to see the fate that befalls someone who does not directly endorse revolutionary activities, but he was far more than a mere propagandist and to most of the viewers the film has mixed messages.

Memories of Underdevelopment, hailed as one of the finest films ever to come out of Cuba, details the relation between the personal and the political, and intellectual's alienation within a changing, proletarian society. Historically, the time is very specific; its 1961 and the film is placed between the exodus after the disastrous US-led Bays of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis of the following year. Alea based his work on the novel of Edmundo Desnoes (published in English as INCONSOLABLE MEMORIES), the diary of a bourgeois intellectual that has literally stayed behind the revolution, a story about an isolated man in an isolated country.

The main character of the movie Sergio (Sergio Corrieri) is not a typical face for Cuban Revolution, which was praising simple hard-working people, poor farmers from remote areas, neglected under the previous system people of colour. The contrast between him and Cuban masses is underlined in the shots of the Cuban people on the street and particularly at the dance at the beginning of the film. That moment establishes a sense of race in the movie, we can see that Sergio, a tall, middle-aged, fair man who looks like a gringo and is deliberately shown as very white against his background - something that is easily noticeable for Latin American audience, as skin colour is often an index of class there. It seems that Alea deliberately used such a fair protagonist to emphasize in visual terms this middle class and intellectual's alienation from the people. Sergio simply doesn't belong to “pueblo”, he's a wealthy man who thinks of himself as Europeanized. For reasons that he cannot quite explain ("to see how it all turns out"), he chooses to remain in post–revolution Cuba even as his mother, father, wife and most of the friends flee to Miami. But he stays in the new Cuba drifting along without meaning and purpose. Unable to write the novel he wants, he spends his days smoking in bed, looking out of a telescope through his window, taking walks, chases women. Alea shows him living untroubled and alone in luxury, in an apartment that could have housed a family or two. We learn that his income comes from monthly state payments for a building of his which had been confiscated, payments he will receive for several years more. The film focuses on Sergio's thoughts and experiences as he is confronted by the new reality and uncertain mood of Havana just after the revolution. He is fundamentally an alienated, indifferent towards politics, an observer rather than a participant. He is, in fact, the sort of man with whom we can easily identify from our experience of European films and literature. The difference is that he is placed in exceptional circumstances and finds it difficult to understand them. Memories is one of the best films ever made about the sceptical individual's place in the march of history.

Sergio prides himself on his urbanity (significantly, Memories of Underdevelopment is thoroughly urban - set in Havana, in Sergio's opinion once "the Paris of the Caribbean", now the "Tegucigulpa") and is obsessed with Cuba's underdevelopment. But to see and criticize Sergio as bourgeois is too easy. Sergio is not one who flees to the United States. He has an acute intellect and sees much that is true about Cuba and especially is very aware about himself. He's scornful of his bourgeois family and friends, he rejects most of the Cubans of his class, his wife Laura and his friend Pablo especially, as superficial, greedy, and self-deceiving. But he also rejects the naivety of those who believe that everything can suddenly be changed and he doesn't commit himself to revolution. A key prop in the film is a telescope installed on the porch of his apartment. Early in the film Sergio looks through it at a couple making love. At the end of the film he looks down on the mobilization for the missile crisis, in which the whole of Havana is unified in the face of impending destruction. Even this moment reveals Sergio's paralysis. His tragedy is that he can only dimly understand what part he plays in the situation he finds himself in and he remains a passive player, unable to act in history.

The film moves back and forth through time, since Sergio turns frequently to his memories to try to understand what is happening to him. Because of the documentary footage, the revolution is always in the background. The difficulty and allure of “Memories of underdevelopment” lies in its stylistic eclecticism and formal experimentalism. This film unites various narrative strategies, blending fiction, still photography and rare documentary footage. Those documentary sequences interspersed throughout the film have no apparent connection to the narrative but show that no one living in revolutionary Cuba is able to escape the presence of history. The revolution is omnipresent.

Women are another obsession of Sergio. He thinks of Cuban women as intellectually and culturally underdeveloped and feels the urge to dominate and manipulate them. He has an affair with a young woman, Elena, whom he picks up on the street and whom he tries to educate by taking to bookstores, modern art galleries and museums in order to expose her to culture and model her to fit his ideal of the bourgeois Cuban woman. But at one point he reflects, "I discovered Elena didn't think as much as I did. I try to live as a European and she makes me feel the underdevelopment at every step." He regards her as a primitive: "She doesn't relate to things," he tells himself. Like other Cuban women has an "inability to accumulate experience, to develop.” Sergio's constantly devaluates Cuban women. But Alea doesn's show Elena and her family up as idealized examples of the Cuban people, dignified or even right. Whereas Sergio is wrong to think of Elena as underdeveloped in the way he does, taking her to museums to improve her mind, Elena, representative of “pueblo” doesn't have revolutionary goals either. Indeed the whole wit of the sequences with Elena's family comes from the inappropriateness of their actions in a presumably revolutionary society. As they blackmail Sergio, they acting out what would have been their best defence in that situation under previous system, but they are doing so in a post-revolutionary time. The film show this family's treating a female child as property. Elena is depicted as victimized both by Sergio and by her family, to which victimization she acquiesces.

Although directed by a Cuban who supported the revolution and remained in Cuba until his death, the film has a European sensibility, interlacing fiction and documentary footage and using poetic images, literary narration, flashbacks, and newsreel footage reminiscent of Alain Resnais' Hiroshima Mon Amour. Memories is a complex and probing film about the dilemma faced by intellectuals in Cuba following the revolution. What should intellectuals do if they are sympathetic to socialism? How do they "join" the working class? According to some reviewers, that the film does not answer this question is one of its main strengths, saving the film from dogmatism. The self and society, private life and historical situation—this is the core of the film and it portray this relationship powerfully. Memories of Underdevelopment remains quite difficult and enigmatic but tremendous work.

Monday, 24 January 2011


Directed by Costa-Gavras

France 1969

Winner of two Oscars in 1970 (for best foreign picture, best editing) and awards at Cannes in 1969 Z is the film that took the world by storm. Even today, is still highly regarded as one of the strongest films about political intrigue yet constructed. Z is a stunningly filmed political thriller with a complex criminal investigation at the heart but with unique political commitment that would define its director career.

There is an unusual "disclaimer" at the beginning of Z that says, "Any similarity to actual events or persons living or dead is not coincidental. It is intentional." And although location of the action is never specified (the film itself was made in Algeria), there are hints that it is Greece in the early 1960s. The film is based on the novel by Vassili Vassilikos and parallels the real life assassination in 1963 of Gregorios Lambrakis, a popular public figure known for his left-wing views. Not that this really matters since the right wing extremists, political assassinations and governmental cover-ups can universally apply to many countries and situations. Costa-Gavras eloquently captured the chaotic and violent nature of the political unrest prevalent in the 1960s.

Z begins with a right wing political meeting, we hear officials talking about preventing the "a mildew of the mind" of its youth following the "beatniks and pacifists"; and all sorts of "-isms"—socialism, anarchism, imperialism, and communism, that are infecting the country. They declare that they must "preserve the healthy parts of society" and inoculate their youth with proper thinking.They do however have a strong opposition with a popular leader, the Deputy (Yves Montand), a pacifist former Olympic champion, who is a practicing doctor and University professor, and an honest politician. He is favoured to win the coming election, and has caught the attention of the press, represented by the photojournalist (Jacques Perrin). As the Deputy arrives to an unnamed town to give a speech advocating nuclear disarmament, its organizers are fighting a battle against the government officials, who have conspired to close off the largest available speaking hall and instead offered a much smaller one. As logistical problems are appearing out of nowhere it is obvious that there have been attempts to prevent the speech's delivery. The tension mounts and angry crowd surrounds the meeting hall, together with local thugs hired to cause trouble among Deputy's followers. To maintain the peace are a large police force, but they mysteriously stand at attention and prevent nothing, not even when the Deputy is attacked as he enters the hall. "Why do the ideas we hold provoke such violence," he asks. "Why is peace so intolerable to them?" After giving his speech Deputy is attacked again. As he crosses the street from the hall, a delivery truck speeds past him and a man strikes him down with a club. The injury eventually proves fatal.

This is when Z becomes most interesting. It is already clear to the viewer that the police forced the conclusion that the victim was simply run over by a drunk driver. But Costa-Gavras organizes the material brilliantly to maintain interest, gradually revealing new layers of intrigue. The government's attempts to cover up the assassination are investigated by a sharp-eyed journalist and a magistrate (Jean-Louis Trintigant) determined to uncover the truth. Slowly and heroically they gather sufficient evidence to prove widespread government complicity and indict not only the two right-wing militants who committed the murder, but also four high-ranking military police officers. Along the way are some especially humorous moments that show the idiocy of the radical right wing.

But then comes the most traumatic finale. Instead of the expected positive outcome, the prosecutor is mysteriously removed from the case, key witnesses die under suspicious circumstances, the assassins, though convicted of murder, receive (relatively) short sentences, the officers receive only administrative reprimands, the Deputy's close associates die or are deported, and the photojournalist is sent to prison for disclosing official documents. The strength of the military dictatorship is stronger and the fear of the unknown prevails. As the closing credits roll, there's a list the things banned by the junta. This is when, at the very end, the viewer learns the significance of the film's title, and it is memorable.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Blame it on Fidel!

The original title "La Faute à Fidel"

Directed by Julie Gavras

France 2006

There is something amazing in showing political upheavals through the eyes of a child. This approach helps to avoid dangerous cliches, didactics, stereotypes or predictability. The trick was used wonderfully in Chilean “Machuca” and Brazilian “The Year my parents went on Vacation”, both dealing with military dictatorships in Latin America in 1970s. Now “Blame it on Fidel” perfectly recreates the excitement of the same time, a period both turbulent and exciting, but clasps few different threads and experiences of different countries all together. There is Cuban revolution, election and assassination of Chilean president Salvador Allende, wave of French feminist movement with an aim to legalize abortion and political refugees from Franco's Spain. This sounds like serious stuff but although in my opinion it is one of the best films about politics in recent years and for anyone who cares about such matters it's a must-see, "Blame it On Fidel" is also a comedy about a little girl who just wants things to be as they were before and a portrait of loving relatives on opposite sides of the political spectrum. Julie Gavras, the daughter of political cinema icon, leftwing director Costa-Gavras, makes it clear where her sympathies lie but doesn't have a political agenda and stays away from judgements or comments. Instead of following her father's radical storytelling methods, she opts for a more delicate coming-of-age tale and chooses to cast a watchful gaze over the mood of the time.

This exceptionally intelligent feature film debut of Julie Gavras (following a string of documentaries) is a story of a wealthy, but increasingly politicized family with a conservative daughter. Nine year-old Anna de la Mesa (spectacular Nina Kervel-Bey), a Catholic schoolgirl in in the early 1970s' France, who loves catechism classes and her family's comfortable bourgeois lifestyle, is outraged by her parents' newly acquired political activism. As her daily life is drastically revised she resists change with the ferocious determination. Anna’s father Fernando (Stefano Accorsi), a lawyer from an upper-class Spanish family, feeling guilty for living with the knowledge of his family’s close relationship with the Franco regime and inspired by his sister's opposition to it, devotes his professional skills to a group of left-wing Chilean exiles as they campaign for the election of Salvador Allende as Chile’s president. Anna's mother Marie (Julie Depardieu, daughter of Gérard), a French glam magazine journalist-turned-writer becomes devout feminist and demonstrates for abortion rights.

As a result Anna's luxury life and her established routines are over. To her horror, all of the things she has considered to be good and right are suddenly swept away by her parents' new leftist view. Everything is turned upside down: she must drop her religious classes, adjust to refugee nannies, international cuisine and a cramped apartment full of noisy revolutionaries, constantly talking about redistribution of wealth and solidarity. It is a tumultuous time too: Charles de Gaulle, the hero of Anna’s grandparents, dies, Allende is elected Chile’s president, and 300 prominent Frenchwomen risk prosecution by signing a petition declaring that they have had abortions.

Anna is confused by these political and cultural crosscurrents. Her beloved nanny, Filomena, a Cuban exile who lost everything in Castro’s revolution, regales Anna with her hatred of communists. After Filomena is dismissed, Anna’s new Greek nanny and then another nanny, from Vietnam, bombard her with theirs cultures' creation myths that clash with Anna's strict Roman Catholic education. She must construct from this ideological maze her own set of beliefs. Slowly she begins to understand the realities behind such vague concepts as "communist", "abortion" and "solidarity". The youngster is smart, though and easily engages in political discussions.

When a Chilean exile peels an orange and patiently explains to Anna that some people want the fruit all to themselves, while others believe in sharing it, and then hands her a section, she starts to appreciate her parents change of attitude. She is still evolving when the film ends as, finally pulled by her parents from her Catholic school, she ventures onto the playground at public school for the first time. But to be convincing and reject allegations of potentially false idealism, just before it “Blame It on Fidel” also offers domestic battle in which Marie’s feminism clashes with her husband’s unwitting male supremacism, and everything the couple believe is called into question.

Brilliant movie! I have enjoyed it very much.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

My Asian Heart

My Asian Heart
Directed by David Bradbury

I saw this movie last month during Jogja's Festival Film Dokumenter but its worth reminding. Its director David Bradbury was one of the festival's special guests and also led 'master class' titled “Keep the camera rolling no matter what”, statement that actually provoked in me a little disagreement.

Bradbury is one of Australia's best known and most successful documentary filmmakers. He has won many international film festival prizes among which probably most prestigious and high profile are two Academy Award nominations: one for “Frontline”, which profiled war cameraman and journalist Neil Davis, who covered Vietnam war and unlike most western newsman preferred to go with Asian soldiers; and second for “Chile: Hasta cuando?”, about brutal military dictatorship of General Pinochet. Bradbury is generally renowned for documentaries about repression and revolution, he made his films in Nicaragua, Argentina, Cuba, Poland among others, he also follows nuclear debate and over years made four films on that issue.

In “My Asian Heart” this uncompromising Australian chronicler of war and struggle tells the story of another one who is trying to bring injustices to light by using his camera. Philip Blenkinsop is known in the business as a “concerned photographer” (photographer who understands his work as being socially engaged), going to extremes to expose human rights abuses and Asia’s lesser-known conflicts. It all began in 1989 when he quit his job as staff photographer in “The Australian” newspaper, sold his sport car, bought two Leica cameras and a one way ticket to Bangkok. In Asia he soon began to document life and death in all its forms. His level of commitment makes him one of the world's top war and conflict photographers, he's regularly commissioned by magazines such as New York Times, he also holds his own exhibitions and travels the world speaking at conferences on behalf of people fighting in forgotten wars and conflicts in remote parts of Asia, completely ignored by much of the world. Many of Blenkinsop’s images are stark and brutal. But it is Philip’s point that this is the real world we live in.

Philip Blenkinsop uses simple, old-fashioned techniques and technology: he uses only a black-and-white stills camera, insists on using film rather than digital, and no zoom lenses. He criticises the modern approach to conflict photography, which relies on long lenses and distance from the action. Without getting close it's hard to show what people are really experiencing, all the emotions in tense and dangerous situations.

“My Asian Heart” portrays some disturbing moments in recent Asian history, like the democracy riots in Nepal or the fate of the hunted community of Hmong people in Laos, for whom Vietnam War has never ended; yet it is much more a character study than a political film. This documentary uses minimal narration, it accompanies Blenkinsop into extreme situations and then lets him speak for himself. In Nepal he stops shooting bloody protests in order to help one of terribly wounded child protesters (the boy actually dies) and then berate the officer in charge, saying:

“Do you have children? Because how would you like your children beaten, their heads split open? How can you beat your own people – aren't you embarrassed? What are your children going to ask you? 'Father, what did you do? What did you do in this year 2006?' And you can say 'I managed to beat and kill a lot of children'. I hope you're proud.” This extraordinary moment when the riot policeman actually starts to cry is captured by Bradbury.

In “My Asian heart” Blenkinsop also shares his disdain for a daily news circle (“The news industry in general has a lot to answer for”) He believes that people are intelligent and have capacity of understanding things but media treat them like idiots.

Blenkinsop knows that giving people a voice by taking their photos is a huge responsibility. This responsibility extends to fighting for those he documents, not only photographing them. After risking his life to become the first Western photographer to record the misery of Hmong minority, abandoned by their American allies after the Vietnam war and hunted by the Laotian military (he won Amnesty International's Award for Best Photographer of the Year for those photos), he travelled to Washington to gather support for their plight. The politicians turned a deaf ear to his call for help, and he's still bitter that he got nowhere. He asks “What the point of having any news at all if people aren't actually going to listen to it? We left them (Hmong people) with such a hope. Maybe that was the cruelest thing to do”

This question: what is the point of reporting suffering when it doesn’t change anything, stuck in my mind. Much of the news industry has been reduced to pop culture and delivery speed. It's easy to feel frustration and disillusion of people like Blenkinsop, who look for the emotion of the events unfolding in the world around us. It must be hard when so much of the media seeks to dumb down the story, not wanting to challenge people out of their comfort zones. On the other hand today technology is everywhere and amount of images that we see everyday is sometimes overwhelming. With so much graphic footage one can find everywhere there is also a big risk of people being numbed to injustice and brutality. We read the story, see the photos get emotional for a moment and then turn the page to read something else. It seems like it is much harder today to really move people with something and guys like Philip can only hope to inform us about the world we live in and what we do with that knowledge is totally up to us.

Photos and info: and Yogyakarta's Festival Film Dokumenter materials

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Battle of Algiers

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Italy/Algeria 1965

Now that is some serious movie for the beginning of New Year. Classic film of urban terrorist insurgency, very graphic, straightforward and realistic reenactment of the events that led to the birth of a free Algeria in 1962. This is one of the most unique and influential films in the history of political cinema. While it’s is not a documentary it feels like one: realistic settings and a day by day, moment by moment chronological telling of the story. People in 1965 had to be told that there is "not one foot" of documentary or newsreel footage in this two hours of film. The announcement was necessary as everything about the look and feel of the film is just so real.

“The Battle of Algiers” chronicles the harrowing events of 1957, a key year in Algeria's struggle for independence from France. Provocations, assassinations and violence escalate on both sides, the French start to torture prisoners for information and the Algerians resort to terrorism in their quest for independence, children shoot soldiers, Algerian women, disguised as chic Europeans, deposit bombs at cafes. “The Battle of Algiers” is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest political films because it covers the widespread use of torture in order to crush the revolt. It begins in a torture chamber, where an FLN (National Liberation Front) captive has been coerced through repeated doses of electricity to reveal the hideout of Ali La Pointe, the last rebel still free in the city. Ali La Pointe (Brahim Haggiag, who plays him, was a peasant Pontecorvo discovered in the Algiers market) is the pivotal figure in the movie. When we first meet him, in 1954, he's a petty thief and street hustler from the Casbah, the Muslim section of Algiers. During some time in prison he meets members of the the FLN and becomes radicalized by the executions he witnesses. After being released, we follow him on his daily rounds while he finds himself engaged in a guerilla campaign, and soon becomes one of the four leaders of the movement.

The film focuses on the the resort to torture, justified by the colonizers as a necessary evil. French military view of it is articulated by the main French character, Col. Mathieu (based upon the real-life leader of the counter-rebellion, Général Jacques Massu) in the course of a series of exchanges with French journalists. At one point Mathieu challenges the hostile French reporters with a question of his own: "Should France remain in Algeria? If you answer 'yes,' you must accept all the necessary consequences." We understand the French, and we see why they do the things the do, but we are never invited to agree with them. Unlike Tunisia or Morocco or even Indochina from which France had just been ejected, Algeria was viewed as a territorial extension. But the political costs to the French far outweighed the gains of staying there and as France grew isolated internationally, it found itself forced to deal with the FLN on its own terms. They won the battle in 1957, but ultimately lose the war as FLN defeat turned up to be only temporary.

French in the movie appear remote - pale, anemic, insipid and featureless in their army and police uniforms. Apart from Colonel Mathieu, they’re denied the least spark of personality and systematically refused close-ups. The Algerians, by contrast, are given flesh, sensuality, bodies and, above all, faces. And the faces are so compelling you can't take your eyes off them. No doubt we unconsciously sympathize more with this embodiment of suffering and rage. The acid test of this comes in the unforgettable sequence, perhaps the key sequence in the entire film, where three Algerian women plant bombs at various crowded hangouts in the French quarter. We follow the women as they remove their headscarves, silently cut and dye their long, dark hair; put on lipstick, blouses and skirts and, finally, pick up their handbags so that disguised as chic Europeans, they can sneak through the checkpoints outside the Algerian ghetto and reach their contact in the European Quarter who provides them with the bombs. Those bombs will explode in 28 minutes, whether they're in place (two cafés and an Air France ticket office) or not. Once they arrive to their destinations, they attempt to blend in to their surroundings, so that they can casually leave their bags without being noticed. We look through their eyes at the innocents about to be slaughtered. They even have some friendly conversations with the people they're about the blow-up. In that moment, for once, the French settlers are particularized: in vivid snapshots of teenagers dancing, men sipping drinks and idly chattering, a toddler licking an ice cream. The women take no pleasure in their mission, they are aware that these French persons all have lives and personalities and aspirations. When the explosions come, Pontecorvo makes sure to shoot the carnage using much the same language that he did earlier in the film, when the bodies of dead Algerians were pulled from the ruins of a bomb left by French.

The confrontation between the French and the FLN involves real and composite characters played nearly entirely by nonprofessionals. The only major character played by an established actor Jean Martin, and not an amateur, is Col. Mathieu. Gillo Pontecorvo once explained his preference for nonprofessionals. When he has a face in mind for a certain character, he will not rest until he finds the person who has just the right appearance. In the most stunning casting decision made by Pontecorvo, the real leader of the Algerian revolutionaries Saadi Yacef plays a thinly disguised representation of himself. His experiences were used for the plot. The movie began as a sketchy screenplay written clandestinely by Yacef while he was in French prison. Later he interviewed several European filmmakers before settling on Italians Pontecorvo and screenwriter Franco Solinas and keeping for himself the role of film’s producer. The path that it took to get from the concept to “The Battle of Algiers” as we know it was a twisted one (at one point, it was going to be an epic melodrama starring Paul Newman!), but it ended at the right place.

The strength of the film comes from passion and concern with both sides. There is no caricature and no glamorisation of either of them - just a feeling of palpable horror. Pontecorvo sees the colonialists as victims of their own system, and the rebels as taking on some of the excesses used against them. French colonel seems to respect his opponents but believes that ruthless methods are necessary. Pontecorvo is very cautious as there is always a danger that you can end up in one way or another justifying the man with the bomb or the man with a gun. It's actually very tricky, one person can be terrorist or liberator, depending the perspective.

Who ultimately won the Battle of Algiers? No one... The French won the battle, but in 1962 they lost the war. French soldiers, most of whom hated the idea of torture, were tainted by the association. Algerians got rid of the French but in their place got an authoritarian regime that, before it fell, was itself guilty of torture. There's also a little irony that Gillo Pontecorvo's critically acclaimed and undeniably powerful 1965 film was screened at the Pentagon in the early days of the war on Iraq. In the end it quite clearly spells out the occupiers' inevitable failure in a situation where they're against civilians who do not wish to be occupied.