MOVIES WE WON'T BE SEEING
Hollywood has now produced a major film that incites against U.S. Middle East policy and justifies terrorism (Syriana); honored a second which prettifies and justifies terrorism (Paradise Now); and produced a third which at best makes a mirror image between terrorism and those who fight it (Munich). Two leading Hollywood actors have starred in a Turkish production which portrays Americans as crazed mass murderers of Muslims.
The interesting question is when we will see major Hollywood films that tell different stories. Here are some candidates for plots briefly summarized. Producers and studios can contact me if they wish to see the scripts.
1. A Ukranian village in the 1930s. Peasants who look like MTV extras go about their business. Suddenly, Soviet secret police forces descend on them, murder many, deport most of the rest, and forcibly take over control of their land. As a result, massive famine breaks out. An American journalist sees these events, resolves to tell the world the truth about the Stalinist regime, and escapes back to freedom with a beautiful/handsome Ukranian peasant sweetheart.
2. An American journalist visits a radical Arab dictatorship. At first he is taken in and writes about how everyone is happy and sincerely believes the anti-American slogans there. After a while, however, he or she discovers the truth of repression and control that lies behind the outward facade of progressive rhetoric and the manipulation of nationalism. The journalist resolves to tell the truth only to find the newspaper's translator jailed, tortured, and threatened with death if the journalist does so. The journalist then breaks into the prison and frees the translator (action movie version) or (artfilm version) the translator's family explains that the translator smuggled out word that he is ready to die to get the truth out about the dictatorship's crimes.
3. An idealistic American officer goes to Iraq, works with the people there, wins their trust and they win his/her admiration as they struggle to build a free society. Terrorists try to destroy everything but the American forces stop them. (See"A Ball for Adano") In the last scene, Iraqi soldiers--including some of the young people he/she has befriended, march out to fight the terrorists.
4. An American professor who is a good teacher and researcher suddenly finds that he/she cannot get tenure because his views are not sufficiently left-wing. He/she is harassed, slandered, and forced out of the university after seeing how much of a sham academic freedom and professional standards have become.
5. A group of Hollywood filmmakers go to a Middle Eastern country to make a film about how terrible American policy is. They are taken hostage by terrorists who have been inspired by their own earlier films. Despite their pleas of"We are on your side," and"We want to tell your story," the terrorist leader makes a speech denouncing the decadent American culture and the values that Hollywood represents. They are all decapitated.
The only problem with that last story line is that I can picture American audiences giving a standing ovation to the terrorists at the end.
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