Rambo Akbar

Rambo Akbar is a miniature high-octane thriller set in the town of Seyðisfjörður, East Iceland. As artist in residence in the town, Scully began the film shortly after meeting Ívar Andrésar, an alienated individual he had been warned not to befriend. Was Ívar’s eccentric behaviour exacerbated, perhaps, by a local tendency to make him a scapegoat? Use of the soundtrack from cult action movie First Blood (1982) sees Ívar cast in parallel to ostracized protagonist John Rambo. Scully conflates fact and fiction and demonstrates an anthropological interest in the psychology of the outsider. Web sourced news footage regarding the Woolwich murder of May 2013 comprises a third component of Rambo Akbar. Remote reception of UK news while on residency in Iceland led Scully to reflect more widely on the creation of enemies locally, nationally, and internationally. The work concerns itself with two central questions: how does a culture of mistrust and fear, as propagated by those in power, effect the behaviour and attitudes of the individual and the collective? Since the 2001 declaration of War on Terror, how might localized practices of scapegoating resemble those that take on global dimensions?

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