The Gaza war of the last few weeks made me go back and watch Black Hawk Down again, and despite the cringing ‘yuck’ from most leftists for this really bad portrait of empire and racist action flicks, I would say the movie is apt for the Gaza situation, and I bet the Israeli mindset, minus the false idealism implanted in the film in a few spots.
However, I must be one of the few people who can watch this film (and the similar propagandistic Dr. Zhivago) and end up being radicalized: taking sides in the end with the Somalis fighting the American marines. This portrait by the fairly clever Ridley Scott backfires for many and is a great depiction of global resistance to the American soldiery of empire.
Dr. Zhivago is similar in its effect on me. It is hard to think of a more resonant film botched by propaganda implants that are so transparent they turn the film, for me at least, into a radicalizing hurrah for the Bolsheviks. The distortions of the already reactionary book by Pasternak are so laughably obvious plus the insertions of fake attitudes that I think the film almost does well as a study of propaganda in Hollywood. Title and subtitle: DR. Zhivago, or how the CIA overplayed a propaganda piece.
Part of the reason is the sly betrayal, I bet, of the directors (here the director has some classics in his list: e.g. Great Expectations) who can’t create a completely biased film. In Dr. Zhivago, the main guy, a reactionary slimeball is protrayed as a rapist. The propaganda doesn’t work after that.
But, still, the movie is a shameful piece and very effective with those who don’t see through the overlay of propaganda. This film was one of the works that crippled the left for a generation. Time to sit down and see how this film is a crypto-radicalizing hurrah for a new communism. It exposes Tzarism, and then Bolshevism: we can move on, then, to a new communism.
Black Hawk Down is about a situation quite different from that in Gaza, and yet the comparison must be apt in some sense, save that we don’t see the ability to fire back that the BHD shows. I will apologize to the poor marine idiots in this film: at the end I enjoyed watching the Somalis almost wipe out the whole gang. It was a curious defeat for hitech warriors of the era of imperial warfare.
If you have Netflix you can see this film free: a second attempt at the Pasternak book, with fewer of the gross propaganda implants.