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Monday, March 8, 2010

Well, that sucks.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that The Hurt Locker won the Oscars last night. After all, it's a movie that shows how rotten war is... for Americans. And how war really takes a heavy psychological and physical toll... on Americans. And how it's really unfair... for Americans... to be put in these dangerous threatening situations. Not much is heard from the Iraqis in this movie. Why should they have a place? They're not important, they're just the villains who set up the big set-piece explosions. What matters in this story is the (white, male) American hero, not the sand niggers that his army has been sent over to kill.

Imagine if this movie had been made about a German soldier in Poland. ("You know, just fighting for his country.") Or a Japanese one in Manchuria. ("Hey, protest the war, but not the brave guys out there doing their duty.") Or (dare I say it?) an Iraqi soldier fighting a war in, um, Iraq. I wonder how many Academy Awards that movie would have won.

No, never mind. I don't need to wonder.

For a more thoughtful parsing of Hurt Locker (and Avatar, its main competition for the Best Picture Oscar) from an Iraqi (who?) perspective, check out this brief article, written about 2 weeks ago:

Of course, the above was written by an Iraqi journalist, so you know, what the hell does he know about anything? Like movies, or pain, or fairness, or war.


Brendan said...

Come on are the only guy that could find a way to complain that Hollywood isnt liberal enough.

Tora Tora Tora? Letters from Iwo Jima? American Soldiers?

There are plenty of films seen through the eyes of the Japs, slopes and sand niggers.


Wrong. You named three in 70 years. I'll throw in Das Boot. That makes four. I don't know about American Soldiers, but the other three are all WWII era. So, I guess we can safely think about our involvement in war after, oh, sixty years have passed.

"Plenty of films seen through the eyes" of Iraqis? Really? Name one, Brendan. One. A Hollywood movie that's about Iraq, not about Americans in Iraq. Right, I'll wait.

Brendan said...

Baghdad High. Afghan Star. House of Saddam. And I am going to throw Three Kings out there as well even though it doesn't pass your 'non-American anti-American' litmus test.

I think Hollywood has done a pretty good job of churning out anti-war refuse the past ten years and each time the movies have fallen flat with audiences.

We must remember that this is a business Dave and businesses are supposed to make money.

Who the fuck wants to pay $8.50 to self flagellate for 2 hours?


So if I understand it... the only movies that will be successful are those that make people feel good. All right. To quote myself: "Well, that sucks."

And the movies that will be awarded Oscars are those that do the same.

"Well, that sucks."

Repeat as needed.


And by the way Baghdad High and Afghan Star are documentaries, House of Saddam is a TV mini-series designed to demonize him and thereby justify US intervention, and Three Kings is about US soldiers in Iraq.

See? I can use IMDB as well as you.

Thanks for proving my point, though.

Brendan said...

I thought the point was to see things through the eyes of the oppressed. In my mind there is no better way than to film actual people living their actually oppressed lives. Dont change the rules!

Oh, and I actually saw those movies that measure I am more of an Arabaphile than you could ever hope to be!