Saturday, February 27, 2010

the exploitation locker.

I've been hearing alot of hype about this movie, "The Hurt Locker," a movie telling the story of soldiers overseas fighting the Afghani and Iraqi war. It's supposed to be gritty, real, heart wrenching, and the best representation of our boys over there right now.

As a friend/ex-girlfriend/acquaintance of many people different people serving overseas, and the wife of a comedian who has also been over there touring with the USO, I can always appreciate people who bring the truth of the soldiers' situation to light. Based on stories I've heard, and accounts from my husband's interactions with the soldiers, the media does them no justice. Their story NEEDS to be told from an unbiased source... if not from their own mouths. The soldiers need to be acknowledged for all that they're put through, and everything they're doing for us. So many of them are giving the ultimate sacrifice for their "job" and the numbers that reflect those people's lives seem to be being brushed under the rug.

That being said, I am very disappointed by what I'm hearing about this movie and the makers of it. While it is apparently an excellent rendition of the true life of the soldiers overseas, it seems unfair and even unethical the money and recognition these moviemakers are garnering for this film. For them to stand up in front of audiences and thank the soldiers, wish them the best, and then take home a big fat check- seems wrong. It actually seems a bit like exploitation. Sure, the movie is "real," it's "gritty," and it "shows the real side" of what's going down over there. But does that give these moviemakers the excuse to tell these stories and not only take the credit, but also take the money? It seems like if they are truly trying to bring light to these situations, as they say they are, then they could find a constructive way to pay it forward to the people it really belongs to. How about new kevlar since there's plenty of troops doing without at this point? Or a charity to help the next-of-kin to those who are lost in action? It seems like there's something they could do, instead of just stuff their own pockets.

Yesterday, I found a story on Yahoo! about these very same moviemakers soliciting votes from Academy Awards panelists. The email is panhandling in a very pathetic way... I'll go ahead and attach it here so you can check it out yourself:

I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to write you and say I hope you liked Hurt Locker and if you did and want us to win, please tell (name deleted) and your friends who vote for the Oscars, tell actors, directors, crew members, art directors, special effects people, if everyone tells one or two of their friends, we will win and not a $500M film, we need independent movies to win like the movies you and I do, so if you believe The Hurt Locker is the best movie of 2010, help us!
I'm sure you know plenty of people you've worked with who are academy members whether a publicist, a writer, a sound engineer, please take 5 minutes and contact them. Please call one or two persons, everything will help!
best regards,
Nicolas Chartier Voltage Pictures

To me, this is absolutely inexcusable. I know that people rally for their movies when it comes to Oscar time, but this seems like it's crossing the line. ESPECIALLY considering the fact that they're already basically exploiting the soldiers they claim to care about so much. It's sickening to me.

Maybe I'm taking it too personally because I have so much personal emotion invested in "the story" but knowing what I know, it all just seems so wrong to me.

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