Friday, April 4, 2008

Movies About American Heroes

I'd Pay to See Movies About American Heroes
By Lorie Byrd
Friday, April 4, 2008

“If you make it good, they will come.” That’s what my friend Sarah said about war movies after reading a recent Washington Post article about how poorly the current crop of Iraq war movies are doing at the box office. Sarah is an Army wife and she is not surprised that recent movies about the war in Iraq have not been successful.

“Are audiences turned off by the war, or are they simply voting against the way filmmakers have depicted it?” Sarah’s answer is, “Make a movie like 300, and people will flock to the theater. Make the soldiers the freaking good guys, and you've got yourself a hit; make them rapists or dupes or Tools of the Bushitler Oil Junta, and no one wants to see your damn movie.” It’s just about that simple, isn’t it?

There is no shortage of amazing stories of heroics coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. I would love to see a movie about some of those.

I am generalizing when I say this, but it is largely true that in recent movies the American military is the bad guy and the Middle East Muslim terrorist is either misunderstood or non-existent. Americans are smart enough to understand that and they are smart enough not to buy it.

If and when someone decides to make a big budget movie about the heroes of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one in which the United States is portrayed as the “good guy,” I predict it will do huge business. American movie fans like stories about war heroes, but so far there has been no Saving Private Ryan set in Iraq or Afghanistan. The stories are out there. They are being told everyday by those in the field. They are being recorded by military bloggers and others attempting to tell the story of the modern American hero. Most of those in the Hollywood community are (to put it mildly) not fans of George W. Bush and many are very strongly opposed to the Iraq War. Evidently hatred of Bush and the war is stronger than even the profit motive in Hollywood.

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