Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hollywood and the War

Many have wondered why Hollywood has yet to make many movies concerning the War on Radical Islamism. This finally seems to be changing, as Jason Apuzzo noted earlier this week. Unfortunately, the old cliche about being careful what you wish for immediately comes to mind:

Here's the pitch: with box-office numbers trending down, studio executives are suddenly greenlighting movies they can describe to shareholders as 'controversial' or 'timely.' Whether the films are anti-American or otherwise demoralizing to the war effort is apparently immaterial. Its appetite whetted by "Fahrenheit 9/11"'s $222 million worldwide gross, Hollywood thinks it's found a formula for both financial security and critical plaudits: noxious anti-American storylines, bathed in the warm glow of star power.

Some of the upcoming films on Jason's list have to be seen to be believed. As noted above, Fahrenheit 9/11 set the trend. While Moore's juvenile agitprop thankfully proved unsuccessful in altering the outcome of last year's election (or at least not in the way he intended), Callimachus at Winds of Change points out the film's overseas impact:

How ironic is it that the most significant piece of Hollywood propaganda produced in this current war is lauded by the people who would burn Hollywood to ash and sow its soil with salt if they had the chance? The religious authorities in Iran scrapped the scheduled program at the Farabi Cinema complex in Tehran to put Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" on display. "This film unmasks the Great Satan America," a spokesman said. "It tells Muslim people why they are right in hating America. It is the duty of every believer to see [this film] and learn the truth."

Callimachus notes the tragic irony that Moore uses many of the same techniques employed by Frank Capra for his Why We Fight documentaries during World War II. The main difference, of course, is that Capra worked in support of America's war effort, but Moore seeks actively to undermine it. Unfortunately, in contemporary Hollywood national self-loathing is what sells.


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