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Dude Down

George Barber

UK, 2016
17 minutes
Available formats: HD Video

DUDE DOWN brings a new perspective to Improvised Explosive Devices or IEDs. In DUDE DOWN, the action is seen from an IED’s point of view. The IED, buried in a slightly out of the way place, develops a conscience about what he is and what he is for as he waits to go off. Ultimately, he concludes he doesn’t want to go off, much to the annoyance of his maker who occasionally rings him up to ask how it’s all going. To his maker, the IED is a big disappointment.Under this format, the film seriously explores IEDs, mines, and the irony of two teams of scientists in the world working against each other. One group of engineers, scientists, doctors attempts to help amputees and improve protection against IEDs, whilst another combination constantly improves IEDs’ lethality. Many are now brightly coloured plastic, made in their thousands in China and Russia, expressly designed not to kill but to maim. This takes more time up and stretches enemy resources. Cambodia and Vietnam are still struggling against the legacy of randomly sown mines scattered during the Vietnam war.DUDE DOWN is part of a group of 6 essay films by George Barber, all interconnected covering politics, war, drones, refugees, Tony Blair, IEDs and environmental concerns.DUDE DOWN has a poetic register, and references work done at Imperial College London, where Professor Anthony Bull, leads a department dedicated to helping amputees and victims of mines and IEDs and improving military equipment against these repulsive weapons. (Completed October 2016, Screened at BFI London Film Festival Oct 2016, Alchemy Film Festival, Scotland May 2017)The film was supported by the Wellcome Trust and George Barber worked with The Centre for Blast Studies, part of Imperial College, London who were very helpful in sharing their work.