GULLIVER and TATE - nickname 'Treacle' - are two ordinary 18 year-olds serving in the British Army in Iraq. Their platoon is struggling to maintain the uneasy peace of 2003. When their popular company captain, GODBER, is killed on patrol by a roadside bomb, morale in the platoon hits rock bottom. Acting on orders they round up several suspects from house-to-house searches. That night feelings at the camp are running high and as the chain of command is weakened and events spiral out of control. The lads end their tour of duty and return to England full of stories but also shaken by their experiences. Iraq comes back to haunt them when Gulliver's jilted girlfriend, Shelley, decides to get her own back on him by giving photos of the events in Iraq to the British police. The story hits the press, and Gulliver and Treacle, now the most reviled men in Britain, face court martial. The army claims the two are 'rotten apples' acting alone. Guilt-ridden and abandoned, the pressure is too much ...Written by
Red Production Company
When Gulliver and Tate are outside, before they go to beat the prisoners, the scene changes from morning to the middle of the night, after watching the other soldiers walk towards the cells and cut back to them talking. See more »
Tony Marchant's film 'The Mark of Cain' tells three stories: that of the impossible task facing British soldiers in Iraq; that of the terrible cruelties they inflicted on Iraqi suspects; and that of a cover-up in the chain of command. The story is fictional but based on true events; however, there's less evidence in the real world for the cover-up than for the other two elements, and while it seems plausible, this aspect of the tale feels more "written" than the other two. And as always with Marchant, there's a careful and clever manipulation of the viewer's sympathies throughout: I never quite feel that Marchant gives me the space to form my own opinion. But it's strong stuff, well-performed and unflinching, even if it doesn't really say much in the end except that bad things happen in war.
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