The film, produced for HDNet Films, received its world premiere in Venice this week. It tells of the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman by American soldiers in Iraq in 2006.The story is based on a real-life incident but is told in a fictional form.
Given its topicality and the fact De Palma based his screenplay on material he sourced entirely on the web, the movie would appear a prime candidate for an alternative 'viral' release strategy. However, this time, the producers have decided to go down a more conventional route.
'There are a lot of issues involved,' producer Jason Kliot commented of sister company Magnolia's plans to give Redacted a platform release.
When Steven Soderbergh's Bubble was released via HDNet 'day and date' two years ago, several exhibitors boycotted the film because of its simultaneous release on other platforms.
'We are still trying different forms of alternative distribution, but on this film, we felt we didn't want to hamper its potential,' Kliot said.
Magnolia will be giving the film, which was made for under $5m and shot in Jordan, a traditional platform release in the early autumn and then to try to build the audience up as debate around the movie grows.
Acknowledging that De Palma would 'love' an internet relese, Kliot said that 'the problem with internet distribution is that it is just not quantified yet.' He added that distributors were nervous about 'jumping into something that will diminish the value of the film as a film.'
Speaking at the festival today, De Palma talked of his desire to get the movie in front of a mass audience. 'It is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq in front of the American people.'
During the Vietnam war, De Palma pointed out, the 'images of destruction and of sorrow of the people we'd been traumatised and killing' were readily available in the mainstream media. 'But we see none of that in this (Iraq) war.'
De Palma faced fearsome legal challenges in making the movie. 'The difficulty of making this film was walking through the minefield of the legalities,' he said.
'Everything that was in the movie was based on something I found that actually happened and that was reported on the internet, but once I put it in the script, I'd get a note from the lawyers saying 'no, you can't use that - it is real and we may get sued.''
Meanwhile, Kliot confirmed that Soderbergh's new digital film, The Girlfriend Experience, will shoot next February with non-professional actors.