Thursday, March 16, 2006

Movies and politics

The other day I went to the movies with a friend and we went to see The World’s Fastest Indian, which tells the story of Burt Munro. Though I have absolutely no interest in motorcycle (or any other) racing, it's undeniably a very compelling story, skillfully recounted, so much so that it brought tears to my eyes (and it's not a sad story).
We were also thinking of seeing Syriana, but decided against it. Apart from the excellent critique of the movie by Amir Taheri in the Arab News, the clincher was an excellent post in White Sun of the Desert (via Tim Worstall) which methodically destroys the movie and underlines the idiocy and sloppiness (dishonesty?) of the film makers:
Presumably the film's makers think American oil companies prefer corrupt dictatorships to progressive countries which undergo radical reforms, ushering in free market enterprise. Which is odd, because Hollywood's great and good - one of whom stars in this film - regularly lambasts the US for removing a corrupt dictator in order to reform a Middle East country and open it up to free market enterprise for the benefit of US oil companies.
In short, the film is awful. Evil oilmen, CIA assasinations, corrupt Arabs, noble reformists, desperate suicide bombers. They couldn’t have crammed more ignorant stereotypes into this film if they tried.
Do read the whole thing.

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