Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Will this play well here in the USA?

A new movie recently opened overseas about the US special forces, and reading the article got me wondering why I hadn't come up with the story idea.

From Karl Vick and the WAshington Post:
In "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq," U.S. soldiers shoot small children at point-blank range, harvest kidneys from Iraqi prisoners for shipment to Tel Aviv, blow a Muslim cleric out of his minaret and, to top it all off, display utter contempt for Turkish foreign policy. The feature film set a box office record in its first weekend, after opening in more theaters than any movie in Turkish history.
Right. Very realistic movie, I can see.
((Don't be content with only a teaser of this post;
read more of this musing.))
None of the atrocities in "Valley of the Wolves," for instance, shocked Ulas Aker in the least.

"These are things we knew were going on anyway," the cafe owner said, pulling on his suit coat as he emerged from a Thursday matinee in downtown Istanbul, where the movie was playing in 63 of the city's 72 theaters.

U.S. troops strafing an Iraqi wedding? It was two years ago that Turkish newspapers splashed news of an aerial bombardment of a wedding that U.S. commanders insisted was a gathering of insurgents. "Johnny, this is not the chief terrorist," the daily Sabah wrote sarcastically, beside a photo of a musician. "They call him santor . He makes music."

Organ harvesting? Aker said he had heard rumors, and in the movie's surgery scenes, a stocky female American soldier strips Iraqi soldiers for stacking in a human pyramid.

If anything weighed on Aker as he left the theater, it was the movie's pace.

"We both thought there'd be more action," said his companion, Erkan Basyildiz, 26. "I was completely addicted to the series."

The TV series that inspired the movie was distinctly Turkish. Its protagonist, Polat Alemdar, was an agent of Turkey's "deep state," the elusive, quasi-fascist network said to remain permanently in Turkey's official establishment while elected governments come and go. The deep state sees its mission as guarding Turkey's national essence, even if that means commingling with unsavory elements in ways that could only be guessed at until, as actually happened in 1996, the passengers involved in a car wreck turned out to include a police commander, a mafia chief and a former beauty queen. On the TV show, Polat once kissed Sharon Stone.
Evidently "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" will be showing sometime here in the USA. Er, I don't plan on heading to the theatre to see it, nor do I plan on buying the DVD. Some movies are certainly not worth the money or the time.

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