Friday, February 12, 2010

John Pilger: Why the Oscars are a Con

(Image:Jared Rodriguez/truthout; adapted: NMCIL ortiz domney, rubyblossom)
"John Pilger unearths, with steely attention, the facts, the filthy truth, and tells it as it is."
Harold Pinter
Thank goodness for John Pilger*. He is a journalist and writer like no other, able to cut through the cant, the lies and deceit of the powerful in a couple of hundred words.

His latest piece Why the Oscars are a Con starts with this:
"Why are so many films so bad?. This years Oscar's nominations are a parade of propaganda, stereotypes and outright dishonesty. The dominant themes is as old as Hollywood: America's divine right to invade other societies, steal their history and occupy their memory. When will directors and writers behave like artists and not pimps for a world view devoted to control and destruction".
Pilger writes of the social and political deceit at the core of these movies and contrasts them with the fate of other movies that tell the truth about America's imperial empire. Here are some extracts from Pilger's piece on a couple of the nominations

The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow) "Her film offers a vicarious thrill via yet another standard issue psychopath high on violence in somebody's else's country where the deaths of a million people are consigned to cinematic oblivion".

Avatar (James Cameron) "Non American humanity is not deemed to have box appeal, dead or alive. They are "the other" who are allowed, at best to be saved by us.. 3d noble savages known as the Na'vi need a good guy American soldier to save them".

Invictus (Clint Eastwood)"In promoting the racist, thuggish rugby culture as a panacea of "the rainbow nation", Eastwood gives barely a hint that many black South Africans were deeply embarrassed and hurt by Mandela's embrace of the hated Springbok symbol of their suffering. He airbrushes white violence- but not black violence-which is ever present as a threat. As for Boer racists they have hearts of gold, because "we didn't really know".

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman) "Before the triteness dissolves into sentimentality, every stereotype is summoned, particularly of women"

* John Pilger is a world renowned Australian journalist, author and documentary film maker. His website and blog are here

No comments: