Sunday, December 24, 2006

Keep your politics out of my movies

In response to critics who dismiss Blood Diamonds merits as a film because it's "too left-wing":

First of all, basic question. If you dismiss this as left-wing, does that mean that the right-wing view is that all these people in Africa should be killed for diamonds and that their story shouldn't be told? That's disgusting.

I hate the way our partisan political culture takes its toll on the way we see films. Movies are art serve an important function in analyzing and putting up a mirror to our culture. They should feel free to do so completely uninhibited from the potential response of self-proclaimed left or right-wing people. Unless, it's a movie like Farenheight 911 which is made with the explicit purpose of removing a president from office, movies are just movies. They might have political overtones but they deserve to be treated as works of art as such. I think we've gotten to a point in society where people just take their truly arbitrary political labels and use those biases to dissect everything around them in life.

On the note of movies just being movies, Ed Zwick clearly states in his production notes that he desires to make entertainment first and foremost. Second, he wishes to state a message. You can agree or not agree with his message but don't dimiss the art. Don't dismiss the merits of his film and don't dismiss his right to say it. Also, i hardly see how you can disagree with his message unless you're in the habit of being so attached to a set of beliefs that it's just your policy to dismiss the merits of anyone on the opposite side of those political beliefs as you. You can't honestly believe it's a bad thing to shed light on the struggles taking place on the African continent?

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