Zur went to see the film and wonders, "What exactly makes (it) worthy of such a prestigious (Golden Globe) award?" He asks if Hollywood might also think a film sympathetic to the objectives of the 9/11 hijackers could someday be made. Why not? Didn't those men believe their act was righteous and in their "desperation" thought it the only way to get America's attention for their "plight"? Zur wonders if the terrorists get their hands on a nuclear, biological or chemical device that they use to kill 100,000 or more people whether the film industry will think that worthy of cinematic and sympathetic treatment.
Some critics of Steven Spielberg's "Munich" think that film crossed the line in portraying the Palestinian murderers of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics sympathetically and the Jewish avengers who hunted down the perpetrators as responsible for the continuing "cycle of violence." Jewish guilt can be hazardous to Jewish health.
What is especially troubling is that Hollywood's reservoir of sympathy is shallow and extends only to certain "favored" subjects. Would the film industry do a movie about Joseph Stalin and how the forced famine he instigated in the 1930s in which an estimated 7 million people died was really about putting overweight Russians on a needed diet? How about a film on the life of China's Chairman Mao, considered the top killer of the last century? A talented scriptwriter might portray Mao's genocidal acts as a commitment to population control.
It's probably too late to influence the Academy, but as Zur wrote after the Golden Globes ceremony, "Awarding a movie such as 'Paradise Now' only implicates the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in the evil chain of terror that attempts to justify these horrific acts, whether the number of victims is 17 (as on that Haifa bus) or 17,000."
The same might be said of the Academy on Sunday night, depending on who "the winner is."
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