| I went to PH half expecting to
see a drowsy behemoth of a film with overblown egos crowding the screen and
rank amateurish storytelling. This attitude was courtesy of the unbelievable
barrage of bad press about this film. Half-way into it I discovered this movie
was the real deal, and there was probably some other reason for the critics to
be ganging up on it.
Film has long been recognized as
the most effective propaganda tool in existence. It is second to none in its
ability to sway minds, touch hearts, cement opinion.
And when that power is coupled
with accuracy, truth, determination - then it is awesome indeed.
Pearl Harbor is propaganda to
some, and they fear it not because it distorts the truth, but because it lays
truth bare for the public.
PH paints the US as a victim,
which it rightly was, savagely and mercilessly attacked by a nation whose
leaders talked peace until the moment they struck. But it also paints the US as
a righteous victor, rallying to the brutality of the Japanese and giving them a
small dose of their own medicine, before shoving in the whole bottle four years
It is no wonder that this
majestic and swift moving panorama of an innocent people rising to the call of
War has been panned by left-leaning critics and "news"papers - PH
shows the US as a military might, justified - while painting cowardice in
bright stripes across the foreheads of the Empire's strategists.
The film is three hours, but the
time goes by unnoticed as events loom larger and larger on the horizon. We get
to know the characters, and see how they fit into the scheme of international
It made us feel for them, their
rights and wrongs, and brought home the tragedy.
What is real purpose of panning
such a terrific film? One of the more important social agendas of the '90's,
was the idea of revising Japan's role in WWII to be that of victim. This was in
a concerted effort to illegitimize the use of nuclear weapons to end that war.
One idiotic curator of a museum actually had an exhibit on the dropping of the
A-bombs over Japan suggest an apology to the Japanese.
mind that the bombs conservatively saved two million lives...lives that
would have been lost in hand to hand combat - and never mind that one raid of
conventional weapons alone killed more people than
There can never be any justified
use of such bombs, the reasoning goes, because we live in terror of the bombs
and we have to make it impossible for them to be used ever again. Etc. Etc.
This is a pitiful attempt to wrest power from the US [capitalists] and
redistribute it among [whoever], by invalidating our primary means of defense.
Let's get rid of our Nukes, whether anybody else does or not?
We were weak and unprepared
before WWII, with a fifth of the troops Japan had - ranked 18th among world
powers (so I have been informed). Since we became #1, fewer surprise attacks
have claimed American lives.
Any time the US is
portrayed as righteous in the Second World War, propagandists will viciously
attack whoever or whatever carries the message.
Ignore their futile
Pearl Harbor carries
it beautifully, and shows just what a sleeping giant can do when
|Reasons why Pearl Harbor is Best Picture for
I imagine A.I. will be be a terrific
film and no doubt others will play heavily for the top spot, but I will
consider this best picture for this year - nothing in the works has the promise
to unseat this giant. It is grand, and sweeping, and puts you into the
1. Panorama of
2. Revenge on
3. Performances of
stars in minor roles - it's what I would have done.
4. Accuracy of
historical facts relative to problems of making a movie
5. Brilliance of
special effects and production teams
6. Beauty of
7. Concept of story
8. Daring to present
non-Politically Correct history
9. Refutation of Japan
as Victim revisionism
10. Use of news-reel
footage in attack sequences
11. Making Pearl
Harbor attack only part of the story
12. Three battle
13. Depiction of
horror of war
14. Evenly paced tenor
of film, building to genuine terror during attack
15. Effortlessly drug
tears out of audience as hero after hero fell
16. Refusal to make
movie only about attack
17. Effort to show
political climate affecting indecision on entering war.
18. It packs in
betrayal of trust on personal level as imagined by one player, contrasting it
with literal betrayal of Japanese.
19. Focuses on events
as part of whole - big picture concept is paramount in determining the impact
of a feature film.
20. It is honest and
frank in its portrayals - no phony moments or hidden agendas. No smarmy asides
to the camera or winks about conventional wisdom - and not a single apology to
the bastards that attacked us.*
21. It is
This film is
they are a strong ally. Which is better than having them as masters any
| To see how right-on Parker and Stone were with
"South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut", review it after seeing Pearl.
It does not diminish Pearl Harbor as a film, but it shows you how radically
different anti-war messages can both be effective, and how WWII newreel
documentaries have a certain feel....