Sunday, March 25, 2007

War on Terror in the Movies

...at the movies, all we're getting is home-front angst and the occasional "Syriana," in which "moderate" Islam is thwarted by evil American interests. But the notion that this war is about our moral failings is comfort fantasy, pure and simple. It soothes us with the false idea that, if we but mend ourselves, the scary people will leave us alone.
The real world is both darker than that and lighted brighter in places by surprising fires of nobility. It's darker because our enemies were not created by the peccadilloes of free people and will not melt away before a moral perfection that we, in any case, can never achieve. It's brighter because there are heroes like the FBI, the military and the cop on the corner who will give up everything, even their lives, to stop these madmen
That kind of rousing story seems tailor-made for films. So why aren't they telling it? It's not just about left and right, blue and red; it really isn't. You don't have to like President Bush or support our efforts in Iraq to understand the threat of conspirators plotting to kill your children in the name of jihad
(from Los Angeles Times).

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this posted by David August at 2:02 PM 

comments: I couldn't agree with your comments and feelings more, but while I am highly political, I'm not in theatre (or film making), interestingly enough: I’ve long seen a difference between political and poetic theatre, and I always been suspicious of ‘political theatre’ because while I believed that “Stories always have ‘Truth,’ ‘Truths’ do not necessarily have Stories.’

This isn’t to say that certain ‘Truths’ cannot find their way from art into social life and politics, but the danger is producing propaganda rather than art if one’s starting goal is political. Not that propaganda is necessairly bad — I have my biases and world viewpoint, and I’ll respond to propaganda as positively as the next person, but — it’s just really preaching to the crowd who already agrees with you, or futher alienating those who don’t.

I don’t know how great art finds Truth (or perhaps Truth somehow natually finds its way into great art), but I think of the great plays, like “Fences” by August Wilson or “Master Harold and the Boys” by Athol Fugard -- these plays will touch anyone, everyone — and I mean everyone (except for the naturally incorrigible): everyone will be affected by these plays, and they'll "get it."

I could be easily wrong, but my intuition tells me that eternal Truth comes (somehow) out of Art, but Art (sometimes) will not come out of Truth, no matter how true it is…

- Christopher
The Secret Of Theatrical Space

# posted by Anonymous Christopher : 11:28 PM  

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