- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
Is Hollywood too timid for the war on terror?
Thanks to political correctness, you don't see much about the greatest conflict of our time on the big screen.
By Andrew Klavan, ANDREW KLAVAN's most recent novel is "Damnation Road."
January 26, 2007
I RECENTLY attended "FBI 101," a G-man seminar for Hollywood writers. I do this kind of thing a lot: law enforcement seminars, ride-alongs, citizen academies and the like. It's a simple deal. The writers get information and research contacts; the lawdogs get a fighting chance at being portrayed realistically and maybe, on occasion, even sympathetically.
Now, in my case, the federales were preaching to the converted. Any agency with a record of battling gangsters, communists and dirty pols can show up as good guys in my work anytime. And never mind just their record. Since 9/11 chastened by blunders from within and above the FBI has reinvented itself as a thin gray line against Islamic terrorism. Pulling 16-hour days, volunteering for repeated tours of duty at FBI outposts in the Middle East, constantly aware that their failures will be remembered when their successes are forgotten, the G-people are clearly heroes.
But if they're hoping that their seminar will win them props from filmmakers in general a picture or two celebrating their courageous work in the war on terror I suspect they are going to be disappointed. In the history of our time as told by the movies, the war on terror largely does not exist.
Which is passing strange, you know. Because the war on terror is the history of our time. The outcome of our battle against the demographic, political and military upsurge of a hateful theology and its oppressive political vision will determine the fate of freedom in this century.
Television more populist, hungrier for content and less dependent on foreign audiences reflects this fact with shows such as "24" and "The Unit." But 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....