Freed from the confines of System Of A Down, Serj Tankian lets loose with a giddy, yet downright serious video that depicts a bunch of kids playing a game of war. And not just any war, but the Iraq War — with 9/11 as the illogical, yet quite accurate starting point for our current foreign entanglements. Telling this sad tale through the conceit of kids at playtime does indeed threaten to diminish the seriousness of the situation. That said, it also underscores just how horrifying this shit is. The sight of a toy plane knocking over a block Twin Towers has a visceral kick on several levels since it brings up memories of the day and makes you wonder if children are indeed incorporating that sort of awfulness into their fun and games. The kids playing Abu Gharib isn't meant to produce a laugh; it's meant to leaves you sick and utterly appalled at what's been carried out in the name of our country. That seriousness of intent — regardless of the silliness of these preschoolers — is underscored by the revealing conclusion where you're reminded that the absurdity of war doesn't make our dead soldiers any less dead. --> watch "Empty Walls"
Serj Tankian "Empty Walls" (Serjical Strike/Warner Bros.)
Tony Petrossian, director | Nicole Acacio, producer | Rockhard Films, production co | Simon Thirlaway, DP | Richard Alarcon, editor