[A-List] "The Militarization of Hollywood": Unlocking "The Hurt Locker"
nadjatesich at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 7 15:16:26 MDT 2010
I have not seen that film since I don't see any films.
But,I noticed that about two years go--there are many many more war films that I have never seen.They probably dug them up from some archive.
It's the same-US is fighting and winning against someone.Documentaries
are the same(ww2) and there is no Soviet Union.
I used to teach film.
> From: james.irldaly at ntlworld.com
> To: a-list at lists.econ.utah.edu
> Date: Tue, 7 Sep 2010 12:49:56 +0100
> Subject: [A-List] "The Militarization of Hollywood": Unlocking "The Hurt Locker"
> "The Militarization of Hollywood": Unlocking "The Hurt Locker"
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> "The Militarization of Hollywood": Unlocking "The Hurt Locker"
> War Propaganda wins the Academy Award
> By Jack A. Smith
> URL of this article: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20910
> Global Research, September 5, 2010
> Why did "The Hurt Locker," a well-acted, tension-filled but otherwise
> undistinguished Hollywood war movie focusing on a military bomb-disposal
> team in Iraq, win the 2010 Academy Award for Best Picture?
> After viewing the film recently, it appears to us that the main reason the
> U.S. movie industry bestowed the honor is that Kathryn Bigelow, who also
> received the Best Director prize, concealed the real nature of the American
> war in two distinct ways.
> 1. The film did not even hint that the three-man Army elite Explosive
> Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squad operating in Baghdad a year after in the U.S.
> invasion was engaged in an unjust, illegal war, and thus were participants
> in what international law defines as a war crime.
> According to the film website, the task of the GIs in question was "to try
> and make the city a safer place for Iraqis and Americans alike."
> Unmentioned is the fact that the war destroyed perhaps a million Iraqi
> lives, and created over four million refugees. Or that it took Washington's
> divide-and-conquer policy of exacerbating sectarian religious and ethnic
> rivalries to produce a stalemate instead of a humiliating defeat for the
> Pentagon at the hands of up to 25,000 poorly armed, irregular and part-time
> The film's odd title, according to the producers, "is soldier vernacular for
> explosions that send you to the 'hurt locker.'" But in the "collateral
> damage" of this unnecessary war - the civilian dead and wounded and millions
> of wrecked lives - has no place in "The Hurt Locker." Only American pain is
> stored there, not Iraqi.
> 2. Director Bigelow and the film's big money backers mischaracterized their
> efforts as "nonpolitical," as did virtually all the American reviewers.
> As one reviewer wrote, it was "remarkably nonpartisan and nonpolitical."
> Another wrote: "It's a nonpolitical film about Iraq. Many films about the
> Iraq war have fallen into a trap of appearing preachy or at least having a
> strong point of view." The New Yorker's David Denby said the film "wasn't
> political except by implication - a mutual distrust between American
> occupiers and Iraqi citizens is there in every scene," but the real meaning
> is that it "narrows the war to the existential confrontation of man and
> deadly threat."
> If "war is a mere continuation of politics by other means," as von
> Clausewitz famously and correctly surmised, a "nonpolitical" film about what
> is virtually universally recognized as an unjust war is a conscious
> misrepresentation of reality. "The Hurt Locker" is an extremely political
> film, largely because of what it chose to omit, masquerading as apolitical
> in order to disarm the viewer.
> Bomb disposal teams exist in all modern wars, but they do not exist in a
> moral or political vacuum. One side often represents the oppressor, and the
> other the oppressed, and it is morally dishonest to conceal the distinction.
> For example, one assumes Japanese bomb teams were at work during the Nanking
> Massacre in China, and the time of the notorious Bataan Death March in the
> Philippines; and that German teams worked in Poland during the Warsaw
> Uprising in the Jewish ghetto, and during the horrific Nazi siege of
> These Japanese and German handlers of unexploded bombs were extremely brave,
> as are their American counterparts today, and some lost their lives,
> particularly since they didn't have all the protective gear and bomb
> destroying robots available to Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams in Iraq or
> But what should we think about a German war film dealing with the Warsaw
> rising and the slaughter of Stalingrad, or a Japanese film about Nanking or
> the death march, that focused only on the heroism of their bomb-disposal
> troopers, without any reference to the aggressive wars that situated them in
> Poland, Russia, China and the Philippines? Most people would characterize
> such films as "enemy propaganda," particularly while the wars were still
> going on, as are the U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen (as well
> as Iraq, despite Washington's claim that "combat operations" are now over).
> Suppose you were an Iraqi, who lived through 12 years of U.S.-UK-UN killer
> sanctions that took another million Iraqi lives, followed by seven years of
> invasion and occupation. What would you think of a U.S. war film where
> nearly all the Iraqi characters were villains or crooks, and the occupying
> GIs were depicted as heroes and at least well-meaning?
> What would you think when you read from the producers that "The Hurt locker"
> is "a riveting, suspenseful portrait of the courage under fire of the
> military's unrecognized heroes: the technicians of a bomb squad who
> volunteer to challenge the odds and save lives doing one of the world's most
> dangerous jobs.... Their mission is clear - protect and save."
> You'd probably think this film, which won six Academy Awards while the war
> was still going on, was enemy propaganda.
> Well, propaganda is propaganda no matter who's the perpetrator. Most
> Americans, it seems to us, are unable to distinguish self-serving war
> propaganda from reality when it is delivered from the U.S. government, the
> corporate mass media, or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
> We can't read director Bigelow's mind, but objectively "Hurt Locker" seeks
> to justify the Bush-Obama wars. It does so by suppressing the political
> context of the wars, and by individualizing and conflating the scope of the
> conflict to resemble, as reviewer Denby suggests, an "existential
> confrontation [between] man and deadly threat."
> The "Hurt Locker" war is no longer a matter of U.S. foreign policy, military
> power, and the quest for geopolitical advantage and hegemony over the
> world's largest petroleum reserves. It's simply a matter of how three
> American guys in a very dangerous military occupation respond emotionally to
> the extraordinary pressure they are under.
> "The Hurt Locker" is a movie of pro-war propaganda. Had this powerful war
> film instead told the truth about America's ongoing imperial adventure in
> Iraq, even as it continued to focus mainly on the dilemmas confronting the
> bomb disposal team, it never would have been nominated for, much less become
> the recipient of, the most prestigious award in world filmmaking.
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