Oct 17, 2012

I asked him what he thought of the film, "The Innocence of Muslims," this ludicrous film that turned out to be a trick on the actors as well as the audience.
   He was incensed. Actually,  I was a little surprised at how angry he was. At 18.
  "It's stupid," he said. "It's like what you see on Saturday Night Live. It's a skit. Nobody would believe that. Only the most ignorant."
   I said that wasn't true.  And whether or not it became, metaphorically, the fire or the smoke in the Benghazi riots that killed the US ambassador wasn't the point.  People across the Middle East had reacted to it,  and some were deeply offended.  That's not a justification, I added. But the point is that it was a propaganda film, which had its desired effect.
   "Well, he said, "they're ignorant. They should be able to see through it."
   I reminded him of the reaction against the cartoons satirizing Muhammed.  We had ring side seats in Morocco that year.  He shrugged.
   I urged him to see a documentary of the life of Viet Harlan, the reluctant Nazi film maker, whose film Jew Suss, won the Venice Film prize award in 1940.  Moreover, the film was seen by 20 million people in Germany, and became a Nazi anthem.  Goebbels closely supervised the writing of the script and the production.  He was looking for a propganda film that would help prepare the German public to endorse the Final Solution. Which, of course, no matter how you tell the story, they did.

No comments: