The New York Times reports on the latest crop of documentaries vying for an Oscar. Come Oscar night, I have no doubt some smug Hollywood liberal will wax poetic about the continuing role of film makers in courageously expressing dissent. Then, someone like Laura Poitras will get a standing ovation when she wins. Of course, Poitras claims that she didn't go to Iraq to make a point:
“I didn’t go there to make a point,” said Laura Poitras, a documentary filmmaker, about traveling in Iraq to make “My Country, My Country,” one of four documentaries about the war contending for Oscar nominations this year.
“I don’t think I would risk my life to make a point,” she added, seated in her comfortable TriBeCa office early last month. “But I did feel it was important to understand this war — and to document it — and I didn’t think that the mass media was going to do it.”
Ms. Poitras, 42, used her own camera and recorded sound herself as she followed an Iraqi physician for eight months. An outspoken Sunni critic of the American occupation, he was seeking a seat on the Baghdad Provincial Council during the national elections in January 2005, but did not win.
Please understand what she's saying here. She's not just making a point. Oh no, she's unveiling the truth:
She cited a scene she had shot at the Abu Ghraib detention center: a 9-year-old Iraqi boy is being held for some unspecified reason by American Army officers who call him a dangerous juvenile. Moments such as these, she said, “will bring a sense of questioning and shame about some of the things we are doing in Iraq.”
I really have nothing against Poitras and it may well be true that she made an outstanding documentary. What I get so annoyed with are people patting themselves on the back for having the "courage" to disagree with the U.S. government.
I got news for you all. Americans don't come and kill you when you question the government's actions. If Hollywood wants to talk about courageous film making, then talk about the likes of Theo Van Gogh or Ayaan Hirsi Ali for once. If not, then stick to entertaining me and looking pretty on the red carpet.
No preaching. No pontificating.
Posted by at January 3, 2007 12:59 PM
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|# January 3rd, 2007 1:04 PM kris|
|It occurs to me that Poitras was probably thinking that her life was at risk because of the insurgents, not the US gov't. So, I'll kind of give her a pass, but I have no doubt how she'll be presented by the rest of Hollywood if she wins. |