Thursday, September 29, 2005

 

Does This Mean the Terrorists Are Winning?

Will a new film by writer/director/comedian Albert Brooks (Lost in America) lead to new terrorist strikes against the West? Well, if you buy into the controversy currently surrounding Brooks' Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, you might think so. Sony Pictures, the studio originally set to distribute the film, has reportedly according to Brooks, backed out for fear of the ill-will the title might cause in the Arab world. Sources close to Sony reportedly said the studio passed on the film because it simply wasn't funny. Warner Independent, the art-house unit of Warner Bros, has stepped in as distributor, and the film is scheduled to be released in January 2006. So what's going on? Are filmmakers no longer allowed any artistic freedom (satirical or otherwise)? Brooks, I'm sure, is not trying to upset world politics. He's never aspired that high. He's simply seizing the zeitgeist of the times to manufacture a film with his brand of humor. Should we really fear retribution for the use of the word "Muslim" in the title of a film that -- from all reports -- pokes fun at Americans?!? Is there any doubt the terrorist are winning when we spend time worrying about this? I applaud the courage of Warner Bros in picking up the film. I hope they give it a wide release.

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