Best Picture of 2012: Zero Dark ThirtySubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 02:35
That is my prediction, based on my understanding of how the propaganda is being rolled out.
Here's what Naomi Wolf had to say about it:
The Hurt Locker was a beautiful, brave film; many young women in film were inspired as they watched you become the first woman ever to win an Oscar for directing. But with Zero Dark Thirty, you have attained a different kind of distinction.
Your film Zero Dark Thirty is a huge hit here. But in falsely justifying, in scene after scene, the torture of detainees in "the global war on terror", Zero Dark Thirty is a gorgeously-shot, two-hour ad for keeping intelligence agents who committed crimes against Guantánamo prisoners out of jail. It makes heroes and heroines out of people who committed violent crimes against other people based on their race – something that has historical precedent.
Your film claims, in many scenes, that CIA torture was redeemed by the "information" it "secured", information that, according to your script, led to Bin Laden's capture. This narrative is a form of manufacture of innocence to mask a great crime: what your script blithely calls "the detainee program".
What led to this amoral compromising of your film-making?
In a time of darkness in America, you are being feted by Hollywood, and hailed by major media. But to me, the path your career has now taken reminds of no one so much as that other female film pioneer who became, eventually, an apologist for evil: Leni Riefenstahl. Riefenstahl's 1935 Triumph of the Will, which glorified Nazi military power, was a massive hit in Germany. Riefenstahl was the first female film director to be hailed worldwide.
It may seem extreme to make comparison with this other great, but profoundly compromised film-maker, but there are real echoes. When Riefenstahl began to glamorize the National Socialists, in the early 1930s, the Nazis' worst atrocities had not yet begun; yet abusive detention camps had already been opened to house political dissidents beyond the rule of law – the equivalent of today's Guantánamo, Bagram base, and other unnameable CIA "black sites". And Riefenstahl was lionised by the German elites and acclaimed for her propaganda on behalf of Hitler's regime.
That is a pretty powerful condemnation.
How far down can we sink, and continue to keep sinking? I hope that by making this prediction I jinx the outcome, and some other movie is chosen best picture. Personally, I would like to see Les Misérables win for best picture. It was so beautifully shot, so dramatic. From a visual standpoint, there is incredible richness in almost every scene. Plus it is a musical! And with such an uplifting message at the end, even though the revolution failed. And that brings such a sense of tragedy. But it is ultimately about finding and reclaiming your grace and honor by experiencing it vicariously through Jean Valjean. That is the triumph. Emotionally, it is a rich movie.
But giving Zero Dark Thirty best picture would be an establishment signal that torture is to become enshrined in America's lore. That we're tough, and we do what needs to be done when the time calls.
We don't learn history, we're indoctrinated in it through entertainment - entertainment that takes liberties with the truth.
I have not yet seen the movie. I keeping thinking I should go see it - just to see - to see the propaganda. And yet, I keep resisting. It is still at the Somerville Theatre. (It plays tomorrow at 4:20! LOL! Its a sign! I think I have to go...)
A friend of mine saw it the other night, and he said people got up and clapped at the end! This makes me uncomfortable.
Guess I have to go see it.
But I stand by my prediction, sight unseen.
One last look over the list, and I note that Lincoln would also be an excellent choice for the propagandists. I'll give it a close second to ZD30. 51-49, Lincoln loses. Lincoln is just the story about Obama. Z-Darth-30 is about the whole regime.
This is the movie about how America killed Osama Bin Laden. If it was not an instant classic, it has to be made so when viewed through the lens of history. For he who writes history can write the present.