By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, Morocco,, February 24, 2012
Of all cultural forms, cinema is best suited to reflect the culture, the political ideology and orientation of a given nation. Cinema was and still is a powerful means to manipulate and reshape the thoughts of the audience. Irrespective of one’s educational level, an avid cinema fan is likely to passively consume all presented material. Through many films, especially war movies, American film makers were perfectly able to establish the idea of otherness and the American as an undefeated super hero. Only by watching a few movies, one may end up adopting stereotypes; such as Russians threatening world peace, the French are to be ridiculed, Mexicans are drug dealers and Arabs are sex-machines, if not terrorists.
In most American movies, the setting, length, casting and techniques may vary, but the story remains the same. Always, there is an immense threat targeting the world from outsiders and sometimes aliens. Thanks to their intervention at exactly the right time, human beings will enjoy a safe life and the natural rules will be in a harmonic balance again. They introduce themselves as indispensable peacekeepers, appointed not by divine right as was in the feudal system, but by a highly sophisticated advanced technology implemented in the making of their movies.
In fact, they are not to blame. They have got all that it takes to make amazing movies responding to the universal aspirations. They were able to entertain the whole world. Personally, I stood enthralled and astonished by the intricate worldly-wise techniques and high-tech technology used in the newly released movies even though the story sounds monotonous and boring. The unprecedented technology used in these movies is breath taking whether it exists in the real world, or it is only a mere fiction. To commercialize the idea of American superiority is not a sin, but to falsify history, debase some ethnic groups and disregard other nations is an unacceptable immoral practice.
As a Moroccan, I will never find it mortifying to introduce “Said Jemmani” to the world as the wisest person of all his time. Neither will I feel it is exaggerating to present the myth of “Aicha Qndisha” as the most powerful invincible woman, who along with other militants was able to expel the colonisers from Morocco. According to the myth, she had super-powers that made her stronger and more ferocious than Superman, King Kong, the Hulk and even Hell Boy. Unfortunately, such myths will never go beyond the oral folklore to make their way to the screen plays of Moroccan film makers, if we do not consider the cultural richness and moral lessons these myths communicate.
This week, I watched G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, a less biased American science fiction and action movie directed by Stephen Sommers. The story is about an elite military unit, known as G.I. Joe, whose mission is to retrieve nanotech-based warheads before they are used to destroy the world. The thing that attracts my attention in this movie, and makes me love it, in addition to it being technologically advanced, is the significant heroic role given to some foreign actors namely Said Taghmaoui and Byung-hun Lee. Said Taghmaoui, a Moroccan actor, is a member of the G. I. Joe team who, with his excellent skills in computer science, helped the team track the enemy and destroy the missiles before they were used against their targets. At the end of the movie, whether it is the direct message of the movie or my own interpretation, I learned that peace is the fruit of a collaborative work.
Editing By Benjamin Villanti
Larbi Arbaoui, an English teacher, has been teaching English for more than 5 years. He studied English language and literature in Moulay Ismail University, Faculty of Arts and Human sciences, Meknes. He Attended and participated as a speaker in several Regional colloquium of the Moroccan Association of Teachers of English. He wrote a short play entitled « Aicha, the Talented Student » performed in Dar Athaqafa, Zagora. . He is a Contributor to Morocco World News.
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