The Mark of Cain

all films and 'dramatizations' are all one persons look on a subject - the directors.

trouble with that is, the film is made through his/her eyes and political slants.

The majority of Joe Public will think that 'Mark of Cain' accurately depicts the Army as a whole
I ordered this from and was thoroughly anticipating it dropping through my letterbox. Now I wish I never bothered. I have never been on Ops and I thought that as most films are based on the Americans, it would be great to watch a film based on our very own troops. What an absolute pile of sewage. The only thing I thought emerged with any credit from that sh1te was the demonstration of a young lad on his first tour succumbing to peer pressure and wanting to 'fit in'. After the film had finished I couldn't help but think of the effect this would have on the Army in general and Joe Public's overall view (regardless of any disclaimer) also that of any young potential recruits and their parents. This film has done nothing to help the image of our Armed Forces and it really made my blood boil. Join the Army, become a cold blooded thug. I was appalled at the way the TA soldier was depicted as an outsider and then a gibbering wreck incapable of getting out of a bloody vehicle. My comments probably only echo what has been said already but I live in hope that Ross Kemp gives us some balance with his docu in Afghanistan.
Just looked at the reviews for this on and this is what was wrote....

Low budget which puts blockbusters to shame...
A Customer from Bristol, England , 21st April, 2007

An excellent portrayal of psychological trauma which soldiers go through in war which turns them in to psychos, it's a fictional account of a team of British soldiers, though based on very thorough account of real events, who go through such stresses and end up with horrifying senario of physical and sexual abuse of prisoners at Abu Gharib prison. It is a low budget Channel 4 movie but has a very effective tone and pace which keeps it going at a nerve tingling tension till the very end. I feel that the pace and effect of this film was better than A Few Good Men (except for the excellent performance from Jack Nicholson). Another great presentation from Film 4 after Road to Guantanamo. On the whole it is a very thought provoking, well acted, well directed and well presented movie which shows war at its ugliest worst. One worth watching..

So Gritty I thought I had it in my eye
A Customer from London, England , 17th April, 2007

I caught this feature film when it was aired on TV and found many of the flashback scenes shocking and hard to watch . Although based on real events, It was also hard to believe that the events depicted DO NOT take place within similar conflict situations - who am I to speculate though?
The quality of the acting was excellent - in that, I certainly felt they portrayed people we meet everyday very realistically. I was perhaps a little disappointed that Gerard Kearn's character seemed to be none other then 'Ian from Shameless' - I would like to see him playing a very different sort of character - I have no doubt the matter of the film was challenging - however the characterisation seemed no different - that said, I certainly felt sympathy for this character.
Fundamentally though, the film looks at the way humans behave (savagely) when seemingly normal people are put into highly abmormal situations and the lengths to which we will go to fit in.
If you have a strong stomach for the most demeaning kind of violence portrayed on film - this really is an excellent film, moving and thought provoking.

tells the truth
Daniel Birch from south wales , 6th April, 2007

This story tells the truth about the war in iraq and how unprpeared the soldiers realy are.

Quality British film making
A Customer from England , 3rd May, 2007

The Mark Of Cain is shocking, edgey and relevant. Good story, brilliant production and direction, and believable acting. My only complaints are that it all flies by pretty quickly and I thought the perspective of the most interesting character (Mark) was prematurely cut short.

Is Iraq our Viet Nam?
John Craig Howells from Wales , 22nd May, 2007

This is a gritty film which does not pull its punches. It shows how seemingly ordinary men can join the wolf-pack mentaility and commit horrible crimes against Iraqi prisoners, who are ultimately guilty of nothing anyway. This film exposes Iraq for the mess it really is, and shows how the struggle for the average soldier is tainted with confusion and coertion.

Apart from the inherent politics in this film it remains a gripping drama in its own right. The performances are excellent and even the direction is well executed (which always surprises me in British films). If you want an insight into Iraq this film is superb. If you want to understand the problems faced by our soldiers then this will show you. if you want a thoughtful drama, this is for you.


Don't often do reviews but
A Customer from Surrey , 6th June, 2007

The best film I have seen in months. Low budget but high quality. Short and to the point. Simply a must see.

essential adult stuff
A Customer from ex army bloke , 2nd June, 2007

Every politician who is thinking of embarking on a peace keeping war should be forced to watch this a dozen times. We imagine that soldiers are super-human but this film exposes them for for very ordinary and in many ways vulnerable people. The film is raw and the story is harsh - watch it and remember next time you vote.

Hard hitting
A Customer from Norfolk, England , 1st June, 2007

This was a very hard hitting film. Okay, so it wasn't completely authentic to the Forces but few films seldom are, however, you did really get to know the characters and at times really thought it could be real.

Ref those reviews - not a single one writ by a chap/ess with ops under their belt : wouldn't know "how it really is" from Jacka-fecking-nory.

For realism (if you can manage without pictures to watch), suggest:
Black Watch, by Gregory Burke.
Drama on 3
BBC Radio Three
Sunday 10th June 2007 (starting in 3 days)
20:45 to 22:15 (1 hour and 30 minutes long)

A radio version of the National Theatre of Scotland's award-winning theatre production, Black Watch is based on interviews conducted by Gregory Burke with former soldiers who served in Iraq. Hurtling from a pool room in Fife, to an armoured wagon in Iraq, the action is viewed through the eyes of those on the ground, and reveals what it means to be part of this legendary Scottish regiment, and the war on terror. This play contains very strong language. Featuring performances by Ali Craig, Emun Elliott and Paul Rattray.

Excerpt taken from DigiGuide - the world's best TV guide available from

Copyright (c) GipsyMedia Limited.
I opened a thread about this a week or so back: prob'ly buried in the 9th page of the index by now. Find it, and there are links to to info about the play.

This one played to packed houses at the Edinburgh fringe, and then went on tour nationally. I hope it will hit the TV in due course.

Incidentally, had you researched 'Mark of Cain' on ARRSE after its original Ch4 screening you would have found that its viewing figures and the reviews it got were all very dismal. Esp. the review by Libby Purves (that's a surname, not a verb, BTW :D ).
Watched this when it first aired and was expecting to be really offended by the end of it, which I was. Evan taken as a standalone work of dramatic fiction it was just really bad. The characters were 1 dimesional representaions of the most crude squddie stereotypes ie that we are all closet sociopaths officered by weak back stabbing morons.

The Writer, despite assurances to the contrary is simply making the point that he wants made. Just a leftist clever little student type who probably understands very little of what he reads. I seem to remember that the disclaimer at the start stopped short of actually saying the programme was based on true events.

Might as well have just said "I dislike soldiers since my mum got the clap off a Grenadier and I want to make a peice of "drama" that will make Joe public think their Armed Forces are brutal sadistic thugs"

No disrespect to the Grenadiers! :D

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