Feb 6, 2006

Two American actors to boycott

Billy Zane and Gary Busey, stars of Valley of the Wolves Iraq billed as the most expensive Turkish film ever made.
The movie opens with the true incident of a U.S. Army search for Iraqi insurgents during the raid of a Turkish special forces office in 2003. But attached to that is the fictional story: U.S. soldiers in Iraq machine-gun to death a little boy in front of his mother at a wedding, murder dozens of the wedding guests at random, shoot the groom in the head, and take those left to Abu Ghraib prison, where a Jewish doctor removes their organs and sells them in New York, London and (of course) Tel Aviv.
Barbra Streisand can shoot her mouth off all she wants. Steven Spielberg wants to humanize Arab terrorists? Fine. But when are artists going to be held accountable for the roles they take?

Hard to believe that during World War II Hollywood lent its services to the US propaganda effort. Just yesterday I was watching Stage Door Canteen, a multi-star period piece about a real-life war-time institution during World War II. Here's a list of the stars.

In the movie, Helen Hayes, Merle Oberon and others waited tables. Tallulah Bankhead chats up soldiers and sailors. Catherine Cornell performs the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet with a serviceman who performed the part of Romeo in high school.

At one point someone sang a song about bombing the Japs--she was in favor. In a scene that introduces a crew from a Russian ship, the MC asks one of the crew what she would do if she came face to face with a Nazi. Hint: She wouldn't sit him down and engage him in debate.

I suppose we've "grown up" as a society; we no longer think in black and white. But when our nation is at war isn't it a bit much to manufacture an incident about American slaughter of innocents? And don't get me started on the modern updating of the blood libel.

UPDATE: Debbie Schussel's reaction.

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