hollywood launches new offensive in the war of terror

hollywood launches new offensive in the war of terrorfrom sky news: Saudi Arabian-based terrorist drama The Kingdom, starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner, arrives in London tonight.

It brings with it a new wave of films that both examine and criticise America’s hunt for its enemies.

Initially, the repercussions of the September 11 attacks largely were left to documentary makers, but now the filmmakers have caught up.

“The big question is inescapable,” said Tommy Lee Jones, the star of In The Valley Of Elah – a murder drama set among US soldiers newly returned from Iraq.

“You’re going to have to face it sooner or later, and that question is have we allowed ourselves to become involved in a fraudulent war?”

But while many actors support that view, it does not sit well with the pro-war politics of middle America.

One new film Redacted, which is centered on propaganda around the war, has already been slammed in the United States.

“It isn’t really criticising the troops,” said Redacted director, Brian de Palma, in its defence.

“I’m trying to show the circumstances in which they are existing, and why these horrendous things occur. I am trying to serve both sides of the story, because that is the reality.”

Also on the slate for release in the coming weeks and months are Tom Cruise film Lions For Lambs, a political drama about US military action in Afghanistan, Battle For Haditha, a dramatisation of a massacre of Iraqis by US forces, and Rendition.

In Rendition, Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep star in the tale of an American woman seeking answers over the disappearance of her Egyptian-born husband, a terrorist suspect, who is imprisoned and tortured.

One film that is already playing on UK cinema screens is A Mighty Heart, the true story of the disappearance and subsequent murder in Pakistan of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

“The aftermath of 9/11 is that there are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are dead, and so this is one very particular story about it, but there are hundreds of thousands of other stories you could tell,” said Mighty Heart director Michael Winterbottom.

All of these films might ease Hollywood’s conscience, but the reality is they will not be blockbusters.

“If you’re going to tell stories like this, you’re going to tell stories of what’s actually going on in our world. It’s very difficult, challenging subject matter,” said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal, the maker of The Kingdom.

“Either you’re going to like this kind of movie or you’re not.”

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