Friday, June 10, 2011

Opportunities for Reactionary Entertainment and Propaganda

bMany folks around these parts are familiar with the incredibly reactionary movie Braveheart. Some might also be familiar with the serious shot in the arm that this gave the Scottish independence movement---some believe that it's responsible for providing the renewed momentum for the autonomy Scotland has managed to obtain since its release through devolution.

There's a similar opportunity in France right now. There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the elite who seek to elect a new people among the general populace. Hell, the National Front might well become the largest party. The time is absolutely ripe for a French nationalist classic about Charles Martel and his great triumph at Tours. There are all sorts of legends surrounding this event that would make for a grand spectacle of a movie. Make Charles heroic and disgusted with the accomodation of the Moors advocated by many of the elite of the time. Show the mood of gathering despair as Islam moves from victory to victory, overruning Spain and parts of France. Make him unapologetically Christian. Perhaps even give him a sign from heaven, a meteor that a smith forges the metal from into a mighty sword. Show him demonstrating the courage that inspired a heavily outnumbered army of mostly infantry to resist and rout a superior force of cavalry. Don't forget an inspiring score---borrow from Wagner if you must, but there's no shortage of good martial music from France. Make sure that Allahu Akbar as a battle cry is met at least once with something like 'Christ is Risen'.

As usual, folks are encouraged to steal whatever ideas they find useful or profitable. I wouldn't even begrudge you claiming that it was solely your own idea if you made millions on a blockbuster. Movies have a terrible power to seize the mythic narrative. Birth of a Nation was probably the first film to achieve this (as regarded the Civil War & Reconstruction period), but there have been many other examples since then. My gut tells me that there is a hunger for a film like this, with a profoundly unironic embrace of nationalism and martial virtues against an elite that would elect a new people in the hope of maintaining their own status just a little longer.

4 comments:

Olave d'Estienne said...

Does "300" count?

It's not Christian and it's not anti-Muslim, but some seemed to regard that as a mere detail of when the movie was set! I liked the movie but didn't take it too seriously. Visually speaking it was tremendous fun.

Jehu said...

300 is pretty borderline insofar as being reactionary propaganda---you can see this by who hates it the most. But it was a fun movie and I bet it had a different resonance in Greece than it did in the US. Another movie I'd love to see would be the siege of Vienna relieved at the end by the King of Poland after a bidding war by the evil French Cardinal (probably an inspiration for Saruman/Wormtongue) and the Pope's faithful servant. Poland at that time had a rule where the vote for a foreign war had to be unanimous and the French desperately wanted to toss Austria under the Islamic bus to break the strategic containment they were locked in. This battle and campaign has a LOT of similarities to the siege of Minas Tirith, making me suspect that it was Tolkein's inspiration moreso than WWI. But I suspect it'd make a grand movie also---history lit with Lightning :-)

RS said...

I disagree. The whole point of the new-style FN is to tell people they have have their French identity without very much at all of the 'hate' and rancor they've constantly, constantly been told their identity or self-preservation would mean. Battle of Tours, like any battle, features a lot of rancor.

In contrast, for Scots to bear rancor against English is not 'hate' as we have learned it through endless propaganda. Rancor against Whites is not a sin like rancor against non-Whites is. So, Braveheart away! But Battle of Tours, no so much. Jean d'Arc would be better, showing that White colonialism is no worse than other races' warfares and conquests would be better, showing the excellence of French culture and science would be good. And the absolutely enormous positive impact of French/White science (Pasteur, Ehrlich, Borlaug's green revolution, the steam engine, machine tools) on everyone living.

Jehu said...

RS,
I'm thinking the French really want a taste of old school nationalism---the kind sung of in their national anthem. To remain independent, a nation has to be at least willing to fight for it (the willingness to fight frequently makes the fighting itself unnecessary).