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More Anti-war, Anti-U.S. Movies
August 20, 2007

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

We're in the thick of the presidential primary campaign. And we're a nation at war.

So how does Hollywood respond to the consequential issues? With movies that feature sweet terrorist suspects and dirty rotten Republicans.

Mainstream Hollywood is serving up a crock-full of films with partisan themes.

For example, Tom Cruise's studio, United Artists, is bringing "Lions For Lambs" to the big-screen. It's due out in late fall.

The movie stars Robert Redford, who also directs. Tom Cruise plays an evil senator and Meryl Streep plays an intrepid journalist.

In previews, Cruise's character screams at Streep's, "Do you want to win the war on terror? Yes or no?" He adds, "This is the quintessential yes or no question of our time."

In another film called "Rendition," an Egyptian-born terrorist suspect is married to an American woman played by Reese Witherspoon. The suspect is taken to a secret detention facility outside the U.S., where a CIA analyst played by "Jarhead" Jake Gyllenhaal tortures the guy.

"Rendition" hails from New Line Cinema and once again features Meryl Streep along with Alan Arkin. The nation's domestic anti-terrorist program, the one that's kept us safe in r-e-a-l life, suffers a nasty attack in r-e-e-l life.

"In The Valley Of Elah," which is due out September '07, is directed by Paul Haggis (who incidentally won an Oscar for "Crash") and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon.

The film is about post-combat stress and is based on an actual incident in which a soldier is murdered while on a drinking spree with his comrades after a stint in Iraq.

December '07 will bring "Redacted" to the movie stage, a film directed by Brian de Palma. In it, U.S. soldiers go about the business of persecuting an Iraqi family.

The anti-war, anti-U.S. flick list goes on and on. It's unprecedented.

During World War II, Hollywood elevated our morale and that of our allies with films like Frank Capra's "Why We Fight."

And during the Vietnam War, similar movies like the "The Green Berets" boosted out spirits.

We haven't seen this kind of Hollywood propaganda since Rosie O'Donnell tried to convince folks her little girl likes dressing up in ammo-adorned clothes.

Some other folks are ticked off at Hollywood for a different reason. Here's the set-up.

The date was Sept. 11.

The year was 1857.

One hundred and twenty men, women and children tragically lost their lives.

In trying to make their way from Arkansas to California in their covered wagons, the ill-fated folks had to pass through Utah. It was there that they were slaughtered. The blood bath would come to be called the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

"'September Dawn" is a film about this massacre.

Now for the political twist — the people who carried out the killings happened to be of the Mormon faith.

One of the current GOP presidential hopefuls also happens to be of the Mormon faith.

Coincidence? Mitt Romney's staffers don't think so.

They're steamed over the content and timing of the Mormon-slamming movie.

Creators of the film claim that it is intended to depict the first instance of religious terrorism in America. It is set to open soon in around 1,000 theaters across the nation and has some name stars to its credit like Jon Voight, Terence Stamp, Lolita Davidovich and Dean Cain.

Promo spots for the flick include a nod to the presidential campaign with the suggestion that we're at a point in history "when issues of Mormonism are in heightened areas of the news.'"

Can anyone say, "Wag the primary?"

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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