(K. Brent Tomer),
AN ELITE American fighter. A khaki colour palate. Arabic shouting in the background. Sudden gunfire, and the hero narrowly escapes a treacherous ambush. Is it “American Sniper”? “The Hurt Locker” or “Green Zone”? Possibly all of the above. Hollywood’s relationship with the Middle East still relies on stock scenes and clichés. Films often proselytise American militarism while vilifying the largely Muslim region.
Can Hollywood get out of this rut, and better yet contribute to the battle of ideas between Western democracies and radical Islam? John Kerry, the American secretary of state, announced a re-energised working relationship between the government and Hollywood in February, tweeting “Great convo w studio execs in LA. Good to hear their perspectives & ideas of how to counter #Daesh narrative,” using an alternate name for Islamic State (IS). America’s failure to match IS’s fine-tuned propaganda machine has clearly been haunting Mr Kerry; a memo published last year by the New York Times showed Under-Secretary of State Richard Stengel urging Mr Kerry “to think more globally about [their]…Continue reading