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Hollywood: "Reel" War and Not Enough Peace

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Reel War & Peace
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"Reel" Hollywood: The Film Industry

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By the early 1920's the fifth largest industry in the nation was the film industry. Today, its revenue is the largest in the world for film makers.


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As they do with all industries, corporations have gobbled up the film industry. Its huge umbrella corporations include Comcast, The Walt Disney Company, News Corporation, Time Warner, and Viacom. The industry spends millions annually on lobbying and campaign financing; and receives millions of dollars in tax breaks and incentives. Without its government benefactor, the film industry would probably flop, even with a normal run of blockbuster movies.


"Reel" Hollywood and War Films


Since the film industry is an inseparable part of America's corporatocracy that includes its political, military and industrial triumvirate, it is hardly surprising that this industry has had a "reel" interest in Washington's wars and foreign policy affairs.


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Hollywood made training and propaganda films for President Woodrow Wilson's administration in support of WWI. [1] Hollywood was even more active and sophisticated in how it cinematically promoted WWII. [2] Today, the film industry is glamorizing and propagandizing American torture and militarism in movies like Zero Dark Thirty, Black Hawk Dawn, and Argo--a movie "glorifying the CIA" and handed the best picture award by Michelle Obama). These are just a "few major recent productions showing how today's movie industry promotes US foreign policy." [3] A later propaganda piece from Hollywood is "World War Z," which Jeffrey Goldberg, a columnist for Bloomberg View, hailed as "the most pro-Israel movie ever made." [4]


There's a cozy quid pro quo between Hollywood and the military that makes up part of the "national security complex". Hollywood submits its war glorifying movie scripts to the complex for review and gets access to dazzling military equipment to use for props in profitable movies. The complex, in turn, gets dazzling public relations aimed at movie goers. According to newspaper columnist, radio host and bestselling author David Sirota, he said a film director had told his studios in the 1980's to started telling screenwriters and directors to "get the cooperation of the [military], or forget about making the war movies." Sirota goes on to say that "this helps explain why for every one decidedly anti-war movie that's made, we see scores of movies made that glorify militarism---taxpayer dollars have been subsidizing militarist movies---."[5]


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Retired organizational psychologist.

Author of The Devil's Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; America's Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying; and Corporate Reckoning Ahead.

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