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Hollywood Backs Bush Foreign Policy

by Anthony Kaufman
April 23, 2004 4:00 AM
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Last week, I had meant to link to New York Press critic Matt Zoller Seitz's article "RIBBONS OF REVENGE: The Hollywood dream machine and America�s post-9/11 subconscious." It's an illuminating critical piece on Hollywood's post-9-11 movies. What's most interesting to me is Seitz's anaylsis of revenge narratives that endorse reckless, unilateral and vigilante-type justice, from Walking Tall to Kill Bill, both of which seem to echo Bush's neocon foreign policy agenda -- "a mindset that says one must act in uncivilized ways to protect civilization, and that only a naive liberal would argue otherwise," he writes. Ironically, Seitz doesn't include mention of The Punisher and this week's latest lesson in the wonders of revenge and bloody payback, the Denzel Washington thriller Man on Fire. Seitz is definitely onto something. . . And one more thing, for an antidote to such self-righteous tales of revenge, let me once again plug Lars von Trier's Dogville, an apt allegory for the U.S.'s violent moral crusades.

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