By John Pilger
"When I returned from the war in Vietnam, I wrote a film script as an antidote to the myth that the war had been an ill-fated noble cause. The producer David Puttnam took the draft to Hollywood and offered it to the major studios, whose responses were favorable – well, almost. Each issued a report card in which the final category, "politics," included comments such as: "This is real, but are the American people ready for it? Maybe they'll never be."
By the late 1970s, Hollywood judged Americans ready for a different kind of Vietnam movie. The first was The Deer Hunter which, according to Time, "articulates the new patriotism." The film celebrated immigrant America, with Robert de Niro as a working class hero ("liberal by instinct") and the Vietnamese as sub-human Oriental barbarians and idiots, or "gooks.".....
These are extraordinary times. Vicious colonial wars and political, economic and environmental corruption cry out for a place on the big screen. Yet, try to name one recent film that has dealt with these, honestly and powerfully, let alone satirically. Censorship by omission is virulent. We need another Wall Street, another Last Hurrah, another Dr. Strangelove. The partisans who tunnel out of their prison in Gaza, bringing in food, clothes, medicines and weapons with which to defend themselves, are no less heroic than the celluloid-honored POWs and partisans of the 1940s. They and the rest of us deserve the respect of the greatest popular medium."