Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Movies and Patriotism

Movies to me are about escapism.  Life can be awful and depressing, and movies are a way to take myself out of that and, for a couple of hours, be in a world where things aren't so serious.  Even if the movie is a drama or an action movie, it is not real and so it is safe.

Politics is something that I have ab interest in in the real world.  In fact there have been times in my life when I allowed myself to get entirely too wrapped up in politics.  However I have never liked it when politics impinged on my enjoyment of a movie.

American Sniper was recently a big movie.  Initially I was interested in seeing it, because I had heard it was well made and Bradley Cooper turned in a good performance.  Then I started to get people telling me that if I love my country I had to see this movie.  They would insist that anyone with even the tiniest amount of patriotism would see this movie and love it,  To them supporting the movie became supporting the war effort in the Middle East.

When choosing to see or not see a movie becomes a litmus test for your patriotism, the line has been crossed from entertainment to propaganda.  Now, I don't think this movie was made with the intention of being pro-war propaganda, but that is how it is being used.  I realize that there have always been political and social statements in movies.  Some are better at getting their point across while still being entertaining than others are.  And politics have always been divisive and partisans on both sides have always taken things to extremes and been unreasonable.

It just makes me a little sad to think that there are people out there who can't enjoy a movie unless it espouses a worldview that they agree with,  And I really hope that we never get so mired down in politics that the simple act of watching a movie gets bogged down in debate and rancor.  Let me have my 2 hours of escapism, the other 22 hours are horror filled enough to make up for it.

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