Is Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden a political propoganda film?
We've addressed this before, but it seems that the issue has gathered even more heat since then, as the retitled and possibly "repurposed" film, SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN is getting more attention for its edits, most notably for the boost of President Obama's role. According to the New York Times there have been some prominent changes. "...promotional materials and a copy of the movie provided to The New York Times this week also show that the film has been recut, using news and documentary footage to strengthen Mr. Obama’s role and provide a window into decision-making in the White House."
"Some of the Obama moments were added at the suggestion of Mr. Weinstein, [the filmmakers] said, using material gathered by Meghan O’Hara, a producer who worked closely with the documentarian Michael Moore on politically charged projects like FAHRENHEIT 9/11 and SICKO."
Director John Stockwell (BLUE CRUSH, ROCK STAR) said that Mr. Weinstein, after buying the movie, “came into the edit room” and suggested a revision that “gave the movie context and helped root it in reality.” Riiight. Stockwell went on to say, “We wouldn’t air this if it were propaganda."
So, what changes were made exactly? "The scenes featuring Mr. Obama include an opening with him at the annual White House correspondents’ dinner just a day before the raid (which was added by Ms. O’Hara); another that catches him on a long, lonely walk as he presumably deliberates his weighty decision; and — without getting too deeply into spoilers — another that finds him declaring at the end, 'Justice has been done.'"
I think the writing's on the wall here. Weinstein is an outspoken supporter of Obama, having held fundraisers and rallied support wherever he can. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. It's his right to do so. However, what bothers me is the use of a film as a means to selling a presidency. Most people can read between the lines and see what's going on and it seems to me that Stockwell made the film, then Weinstein bought it, seeing an opportunity to exploit it for political purposes and ensured that happened in the editing room.
Politics oftentimes find their way into entertainment, especially from those who lean one side or the other. That's nothing new. Personally, though, I just want to see well-told stories without a religious or political agenda. That said, I have to admit I'll be checking this out on Netflix just to satiate my curiosity. Only now, it's just to see how far this leans on politics vs. entertainment instead of seeing a film about the death of Bin Laden.
SEAL TEAM SIX: THE RAID ON OSAMA BIN LADEN premieres November 4, 2012 at 8 p.m. ET on National Geographic Channel and will be available on Netflix streaming the following day.
What do you guys think? Do you see a problem with a producer re-editing a movie to make it more politically motivated? Do you think it could change a person's vote?
|Extra Tidbit:||Hopefully, Zero Dark Thirty will avoid political motivations and simply deliver a solid account of Bin Laden's death. At least by then the political race will be over.|
|Source:||New York Times|