Scenes from the Worst Oscar viewing party in the world:
Though there are a few (for Hollywood, strikingly) candid acknowledgments of historical fact, Argo obscures far more than which country bears greater acclaim for the successful extraction of the embassy staffers. Yes, it makes a nod to historical fact concerning Mossadegh, and the discerning might wonder exactly what the staffers were so eager to burn/destroy – we can surmise from Wikileaks releases on the Clinton State Department, that at the very least, the documents addressed considerable influene(sic)/pressure brought on the Iranian government to accede to international business concerns at the expense of its citizens.
But, it is, interestingly, a movie where Iranians barely exist, until our heroic gang successfully dupes the beauracratic (sic) airport security rubes. Otherwise, we are mostly given montages of the direct counterparts of the CIA, who were in all likeliehood (sic), trained by the CIA, or perhaps tortured by SAVAK officers trained by the CIA, in which case even such single minded devotion warrants that explanation. And they are shown as inhuman caricatures, devoid of humor or life as they try to track down the missing staffers. This in direct contrast to the fairly warm view of Bryan Cranston’s character and the assemblage of supporting Langley players.
“Life of Pi” is, at end, an upper class fantasy that whitewashes the West’s interference in the colonies. Go to the wealthy area of your town, throw a rock in any direction and you will inevitably hit a well-off woman who gushes about how good and meaningful it is and all other sorts of pablum. That alone should key you in immediately to the fact that there is something deeply wrong with it.
When it is pointed out that Life of Pi is apolitical:
I admit I don’t know how to see story as apolitical or disconnected from the context in which it emerges. What I observe is that while hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers commit suicide, or one might more rightly say are murdered by Monsanto and its GMO cronies (speaking of socializing lobbyist expenses in the form of the State Department), and tens of millions strike against the grinding poverty that is neoliberalism’s aim (the wealthy are rich as a direct consequence of making others poor), the West once again fetishizes the spirituality of its colonies. And, of course, the film quite literally fetishizes the young, handsome and conveniently bare-chested native. It’s nearly as sickening as the hackneyed noble British pensioners retire in the former colonies meme (with full cast of regular British character actors), and it obscures the far darker truth that Orwell, Conrad and Greene so eloquently laid bare.
So that’s what I saw.
I remember how I couldn’t enjoy Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle because there are people who are starving in North Korea so, really, it was the longest 88 minutes of my life….