For most of its history, Hollywood has been a liberal enterprise, with occasional exceptions like "The Passion of the Christ."
And it's also been too darn predictable. Hollywood needs to make more movies that don't use its typical formula. One outside-the-box example is the raunchy summer comedy "Knocked Up" - its adolescent humor is infused with a conservative message.
If I were issuing grants to filmmakers for non-formulaic productions, there would be two genres I'd look to fund. First, we could really use inspiring war stories -- taking place not just on the battlefield, but also on the airwaves or anywhere a major conflict impacts our way of life. There have been some attempts, which I applaud, but we need more. We're at war. Pop culture should reflect that.
Secondly, I'd support the "Feminism Does Not Speak for Me" project -- as feminism does not speak for me, and I'm not the only American woman who would say that.
For you major-motion-picture types, here are some ideas. Enjoy them. And have no worries, I won't ask for royalties.
INFIDEL. In November 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (great-grand nephew of painter Vincent) was found shot on an Amsterdam street. A note was left on his body for a Somali-born woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali, then a member of the Dutch parliament, had worked with van Gogh on a documentary ("Submission") criticizing the treatment of women in Islamic societies. The note threatened that Ali, a former Muslim, would be next. The life story of Ali, who ultimately fled the Netherlands (after fleeing forced marriage in Kenya) to the United States highlights the clash of civilizations at the root of the war on terror. Halle Berry should be cast as Ali.
SOLDIERS' ANGEL. With a son deployed in Iraq and a daughter who's helped the rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, D.C. mom and Hill vet Barbara Ledeen spends her off hours talking to and advocating for young men, some of whom lost limbs to enemy IEDs. In a culture where sacrifice is slim and protest often casual (including the antiwar protests she encounters outside medical centers where our wounded are being cared for), Ledeen's encounters are heartbreaking, startling and inspiring.
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