Movie details Directed by William Friedkin Produced by Scott Rudin, Richard D. Zanuck Written by James H. Webb Stephen Gaghan Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Samuel L. JacksonGuy Pearce, Bruce Greenwood, Blair Underwood, Philip Baker Hall, with Anne Archer, and Ben Kingsley Release Date: 2000
Plot summary The movie, a military, political, and legal drama, is about Marine Colonel Terry Childers, played by Jackson, who is brought to court-martial on charges of disobeying the rules of engagement in a military incident at an American embassy in Sana'a, Yemen, resulting in the slaughter of many civilians by Childers' men. Interestingly the lead writer, James H. Webb, is a former Marine combat officer, lawyer and Secretary of the Navy.
This film is perfect for the American audience as it is very patriotic though, it is trying to represent the American soldiers who have fought or are fighting in war. The main character is in fact so devoted to his country that in one part of the film he risks his life to save the American flag from the shooting Yemeni's. This film is among many that chooses to vilify Arab people, in particular insinuating Yemen is a ‘training ground for terrorist’ Jack Shaheen: (5.00) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WliVrRvXiOM Shaheen argues that the slaughter of women and children has been justified in this film, as the audience we will feel the humanity is not there, ‘these Arabs are not human so what’s left?’
The film drew widespread criticism for its portrayal of Arab characters. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee described it as "probably the most racist film ever made against Arabs by Hollywood".Paul Clinton of the Boston Globe wrote "at its worst, it's blatantly racist, using Arabs as cartoon-cutoutbad guys". Review/Comments
Representation of Arabs The first encounter we have of the Yemini Arabs in the film is of them in a crowd screaming and chanting (something in Arabic) at the American Embassy. This crowd included the typical image of Arabs; bearded men with the Taliban scarf around their head, fully veiled women. This crowd Also included young children who also joined in on the chanting. The image that we get from this depiction is that these Arabs are violent and hateful towards American's. There’s also an assumption that in most Arab countries they are incapable of taking care of themselves or ‘managing’ their country, and this is further emphasised in the film where there is only one Yemini Officer to control the crowd who is later beaten up by the crowd.
A stereotype of Muslim women that is further emphasised in the film is that women are powerless and controlled by the men. However there is also and interesting stereotype where the Muslim women promote the violence and even encourage the children. An assumption was made that all the crowd members were ‘jihadis’ even though one jihadi tape was found in the hospital. Representation Of Muslims
Do you think this film is actually racist? And do you think it was the right decision to shoot at the crowd? What Do You Think?