I had a day off last Friday. So this happened!! 😉
Before I saw this movie, I told one of my dear friends that I was going to see “that Benghazi movie.” The response I got:
Nothing else was said, but I totally understood where that came from. I felt every concern in that single “ugh.”
I was concerned myself! For one thing, I was afraid that people were going just because it was one of those military movies that would *gruff voice* “make ya proud to be an American,” which is to say that I was afraid it might be the kind of movie that merely satisfied some kind of primal need for revenge violence and self-satisfaction. Whoops! I mean courage and determination. 😉
I was also afraid that people would make this into something political (inevitably, people have, but what can you do?). This could either be a commentary on foreign policy (inevitably there was some) or this could become a reason to hate other kinds of people (immigrants, refugees, etc.).
One of the biggest things I was worried about was the “awesome factor” overshadowing the “respectful factor.” You know, the part where we remember that actual people died in this thing.
Sometimes I read reviews before I see them, sometimes I don’t. This time I didn’t. Perhaps subconsciously, I wanted to be detached from all preconceived notions before I saw it. I had my own ideas and concerns, but I wanted to be the one to judge.
Admittedly, what gave me the idea to see this movie in the first place:
Do I think that some people went simply because John Krasinski was in this movie? Absolutely I do.
Am I ashamed for admitting what I just admitted about my initial attraction to the movie? Not really, no.
John Krasinski made me curious enough to see the movie. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have. And then I would know absolutely nothing about any of this. And I would have missed out.
To get to the things that worried me:
The whole thing was kind of a classic “guy with limited power has better ideas than the guy who is actually supposed to be in charge.” And the US government was really nowhere to be found, which I guess is what happened anyway.
Someone could argue about the politics, but to me, the movie wasn’t too obnoxious about it. It seemed like they were just trying to tell the story.
The Potential for Racism
Most of the movie was about the Americans being attacked by Libyans, so it’s not like the attackers are going to be portrayed as heroes, but given the situation, I was actually satisfied with Michael Bay’s portrayal of the people. I understood from the movie that of the Libyan people, there are good people and there are people who are not so good. As with ANY people group.
This was really tied up at the end where all the deaths were portrayed as they should have been: as a tragedy. It was sad when the heroes died, and it was sad when the attackers died.
Yes, they did say “the bad guys” a million times, but I feel like that was just an attempt to get into the mentality of a soldier (whose job includes killing in order to protect… they have to be able to deal with it and talk about it somehow). I think it was less of a specific labeling than a general way to refer to those who were threatening the peace.
At the end, a bunch of Libyan people were holding up signs. Do you know what they said? “I’m sorry.” That’s what satisfied me. Peaceful Libyans. I didn’t feel like anyone was demonized. And that is how it should be.
The Possibility for Lack of Respect
I feel like this was addressed in the last section. The fact is, people died in this situation. The last thing that we should do is celebrate it with spectacle. That’s why I really appreciated how the movie ended in a very low-key kind of way.
Yeah, I Think Not Seeing This is Missing Out
You know, sometimes I get annoyed when some people are so obsessed with the good that the military does that they forget that the countries where the soldiers fight contain good people as well. Refugees and immigrants have really been on my heart lately because a lot of people don’t care about them at all. And I have noticed that some of those people who don’t care would be the first to explain why the military is awesome. I just got a little tired of hearing a select group talk like they were picking and chosing who to care about.
But this is what I really think: I believe that a soldier can be good or evil. Because they are people. And people can be good or evil. But this movie really made me appreciate again the good that people, and soldiers, can do.
They had to be really brave. And it was heartbreaking to see them away from their families. I mean they made that call, but really, someone has to.
I know this turned into a pro/anti military thing…
Hey, it’s a military movie. What did you expect?
Something we can all agree on: Pablo Schreiber looks remarkably like Luke Bryan
… Well I think so anyway.