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Portrayal of Muslims and the Arab Community In Hollywood Cinema in a Post-9/11 world - Essay Example

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Historically, the two Abrahamic monotheistic faiths - Christianity and Islam - have never been able to come to terms with each other. History has witnessed the two communities engage in crusades against each other, time and again. As such, September 11 was just another of the series of them…
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Portrayal of Muslims and the Arab Community In Hollywood Cinema in a Post-9/11 world
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Portrayal of Muslims and the Arab Community In Hollywood Cinema in a Post-9/11 world

Download file to see previous pages... Just the three hours of the barbaric attack on the New York twin-towers brought about social repercussions on the American people which will probably endure for three centuries. Obviously, the bitterness the event generated in the American psyche, would inevitably be projected in its fantasies. What are Hollywood films other than projections of the American dream, fears, and fantasies on the celluloid This paper explores how the perceived enemy - the Muslims and the Arabs - are being portrayed in the Hollywood cinema - the peephole into the American psyche - post September 11.
On September 11 2001, thanks to the speed and outreach of the electronic media, the whole world witnessed the two planes flying right into the twin towers. Although the whole world reacted with horror and denounced the horrendousness of the attacks, no one could probably feel what the American went through in those traumatic hours. For the rest of the world, it was a simple case of watching the barbaric act, making judgments, and denouncing it; but it was the American who was the victim. The American was not even in the position to know, to judge and to react. "On the occasion of the first anniversary of September 11, Robert Smith, a reporter for National Public Radio (NPR), commented to me that he was having difficulty finding historians willing to talk about the subject on the air. A number had declined interviews saying that the subject was still too close, too raw, for them to have much to say historically."1
In the places affected by the acts of terrorism, the disorientation and the sense of insecurity was inevitable. Ironically, however, it was not the destruction itself, but the portrayal of that destruction by the local media, which brought the same feelings of disorientation and insecurity to even far-flung places of the United States of America. "initially at least, much of what came to be "an experience" of September 11 was, in fact, an experience of witnessing September 11 and subsequent events as portrayed through the media. September 11 was warfare as theater, an act that turned Americans not only into victims (the shocked recipients of violence) but also into mesmerized consumers of a spectacular media event."2
One of the outcome of this tragedy was that all the internal turmoil of the American society was forgotten. The cruel acts of racism, the economic recession, the senseless serial killings attributed to psychopathology, the struggle of the African Americans, etc. were all of a sudden put on the back-burner. The American society viewed itself and projected itself as the absolutely innocent victim. The society simply did not want to come out of this self-pity and do an objective analysis. Such unthinkable and horrendous acts of barbarism were unworthy of any kind of rationalization, was the commonly accepted rationale.
For example, Rudolph Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time of the attacks, returned billionaire Saudi Prince Al-Wadid bin Tala bin Abdulazaz's check for $10 million to aid victims of the WTC attacks because the prince, in a letter to the mayor, encouraged efforts to examine the conflicts that led to the attacks as well as urging a balanced approach to the Palestinian cause.3
This self-pity gave the American soci ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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