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Friday, March 23, 2007

Movie '300' - Most Blatant Brainwashing Pro-War Propaganda

Movie '300' - Most Blatant Brainwashing Pro-War Propaganda

From Golem78 - 3-22-7

I saw the movie 300. The Internet is abuzz with the suggestion that 300 may be veiled war propaganda. Veiled? Hardly. 300 is the most blatant brainwashing pro-war propaganda I have seen in many years. It's the kind of film Leni Riefenstahl would be proud of.

Leni Riefenstahl produced propaganda films for the Nazis. Like 300, Riefenstahl's movies dazzled with their visual finesse and extraordinary aesthetics but ultimately served to glorify the Nazi ideology and promote war.

300 is a very entertaining movie, with great special effects and spectacular visuals. But it drips with dishonest and manipulative war propaganda.

Throughout the entire movie, the warmongering Spartans are glorified as righteous and superior. Even when they break laws and start a war and kill foreigners, they're supposedly justified. Anyone who opposes them, including pacifist Spartans who want peace and not war, are portrayed as traitors. The intented analogy aimed at democrats and left-wing antiwar protesters is clear.

Supposedly the war-mongering Spartans are "fighting for freedom" (nevermind that Spartans had slaves) and "the enemy" is an inhuman, soulless horde of foreigners, mirroring the xenophobic distrust many republicans display towards the United Nations.

Over and over again do characters in the movie say things aimed at elevating Spartans above all other nations or races. The mention of 1000 nations fighting against Sparta are an obvious reference to the worldwide anti-Americanism and the fact that the US is pretty much alone in its so-called "war on terror."

All throughout the movie, non-Spartans (read: non-Americans) are derided as inferior. Even the allies of the Spartans are described as inferior soldiers of negligible value - precisely the way warmongering neocons see the so-called coalition of the willing in Iraq.

The voice-over in the movie even uses the word "soulless" to describe the foreign troops. And all the foreigners are either black, gay, horribly disfigured or hidden behind masks and veils, so that they never quite seem human.

Dehumanizing and demonizing "the enemy" is the whole point of war propagada... fool your own citizens into thinking of the enemy as sub-humans that deserve to be killed.

Thousands of foreigners die in 300, but they're faceless, soulless masses. Their deaths don't matter - just like the American public completely ignores the deaths of hundreds of thousands of faceless Iraqi civilians. But when a Spartan dies, it's a tragedy - just like Americans only care about fallen American soldiers.

Among US Army troops the cry "hooah" or HUA (Heard. Understood. Acknowledged.) is an old tradition to signal unified approval. In 300, the Spartans scream "haooh" whenever their king gives a rousing speech about the merit of slaughtering foreigners. Coincidence? Hardly.

Watching those Spartans scream "HAOOH!" with the melodramatic music in the background actually gave me goosebumps. It really is a rousing, emotional sensation to see so many men scream as one. Now I know how those Germans felt who attended Hitler's speeches. I'm sure you've seen the old black and white news reel footage... Hitler talks of total war and death before dishonor, and thousands of Germans scream "Sieg Heil" with one voice. Watching a movie like 300, you feel that emotional pull, that urge to scream along with all the other voices.

Leni Riefenstahl couldn't have done it any better.

You'll keep them dumb and I'll keep them poor, said the politician to the priest.

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