Friday, April 01, 2016

Cinematic Counter-Jihad

Examples of my title subject are far too few and far between.  Depending on my standard for what constitutes truly counter-jihad, I could count the number of movies or television fare that qualifies on the fingers of the left hand of a Muslim thief...

Also, my own standard has been changing as I have grown more Islamo-savvy over the years (I, unlike Robert Spencer apparently, actually undergo that strange phenomenon known as changing your mind based upon new data...).  For example, as late as 2006, I thought that the movie Civic Duty was a fine (and rare) example of Islam-aware cinema.  I still do on a certain level, but if I saw that movie for the first time today (or any time, say, in the last six or more years), I would find certain scenes nearly intolerable for their PC MC sentiments.  Case in point, the scene involving a Muslim terrorist, held at gunpoint by the non-Muslim white guy played by Peter Krause who has felt driven to this desperate measure because he sincerely believes the Muslim is a terrorist planning an imminent terror attack.  What would rankle me now is the answer the Muslim gives, at gunpoint, when his captor demands that he tell him why he's planning the terror attack (after finally getting him to stop lying about it) -- basically, the answer is that the evil Israelis and Americans have been terrorizing his own family and neighbors, so he feels he must exact revenge.  Despite that galling meme three-quarters of the way into the film, the ending provides a chilling verification of the lead character's suspicions, deemed to be paranoid by everyone else he knows (including his wife and the state, which has institutionalized him in a mental asylum), that indeed the Muslim he interrogated at gunpoint did, with his Muslim friends, plan and accomplish a terror attack that resulted in numerous seemingly random deaths throughout the city (the ingeniously murderous plot involved replacing ATM envelopes with envelopes on which the adhesive glue was laced with a deadly toxin).  See a comment I wrote about the movie's plot back in 2011 at the Gates of Vienna blog.

Another movie I liked, also from 2006, was The Stone Merchant, an Italian film directed by Renzo Martinelli, and starring Harvey Keitel as an Italian who converts to Islam and joins a terror cell, and F. Murray Abraham as a Muslim cleric with what seems to be an impeccable Middle Eastern accent (at one point he barks out the takbir with a zest so commandingly stentorian, it's almost comical).  That movie had no scenes I recall that would annoy me now, and that could be because the director, Renzo Martinelli, seems to be quite knowledgeable about the problem of Islam himself, from a few things I've read about him.

Years went by and I became resigned to the fact that PC MC was so sitflingly dominant, there would be no hope of a mainstream movie or TV show that did justice to the problem (see "Further Reading" at the end of this essay for other reviews of movie and television shows which have disappointed me in this regard).  Then in 2012, a movie came out -- Zero Dark Thirty -- that purported to be a hard-hitting, gritty, realistic account of our war on terror, framed by the long manhunt for Osama bin Laden.  While I liked the director, Kathryn Bigelow, and found her work solid in her previous movie Hurt Locker, I recalled subtle PC MC touches in that movie which more or less ruined it in my eyes; a hint of PC MC which was confirmed by an interview Bigelow did in which she expressed "respect" for a cleric who gave the film crew "permission" to film in an urban area of Jordan (the closest they could get to Iraqi verisimilitude without risking deadly consequences, apparently).  So I avoided her latest film for a year, assuming it would be compromised with PC MC.  In 2013, an acquaintance who is quite anti-Islam (though not without asymptotic tics & reflexes -- he still admires Sam Harris, for example) swore up and down that Zero Dark Thirty was thoroughly on target about the problem of Islam.  I conveyed my suspicions and misgivings, but he kept insisting I would be pleasantly surprised.  So I bit the bullet and dialed the movie up on Netflix and settled back with my proverbial popcorn.  I won't go into details, except to say I was right, and my acquaintance was wrong.  The movie is filled with subtle PC MC cues.  Only one scene stood out as truthful; and it is a remarkable scene (and one based wholly in real events) -- where the Muslim informant who has been implicitly trusted by the chief CIA agent and her staff to be a good Muslim on our side arrives at the CIA compound in Khost, Afghanistan and, because he is trusted, is allowed in without being adequately searched under ultra-secure conditions (i.e., for example, outside the compound perimeter, with bomb-sniffing dogs, and a Jewish lesbian with rubber gloves doing a deep cavity search where the crescent moon don't shine, know what I'm sayin'...? -- but I digress...).  When the good Muslim gets out of the taxi (yes, he came rattling across the Afghanistan tundra in a taxi cab -- another nice, and likely accurate, touch), there is a large group of CIA personnel and aides to greet him.  The Muslim looks elderly, and he hobbles with a cane.  The group of personnel smile and welcome him to the post, eager to begin conferring with him about the intelligence he promised to give them about bin Laden.  He pauses, his eyes roll heavenward, and he cries out the takbir ("Allahu Akbar!").   Another exploding Muslim: in a split-second, nine were killed, six wounded.  (See my 2012 essay about this.)  But, of course, the power of such cinematic moments can be, and are, undercut by the TMOE meme (i.e., that the suicide bomber was just a member of the Tiny Minority of Extremists, you see, while the vast majority of Muslims are decent moms and pops like the rest of us, and just wanna have a pita sandwich...) -- a meme which the rest of the movie does nothing to challenge and in fact does much to reinforce.

* * * * * 

To get back to Renzo Martinelli, I hadn't thought much about him since I saw The Stone Merchant, so I thought I'd Google him to see what he's been up to.  I was pleasantly surprised to see a 2012 movie he made about the Siege of Vienna in 1683, titled The Day of the Siege (or, I should say, pleasantly reminded, since a reader pointed out I had indeed mentioned the movie, in passing and to my knowledge at the time yet to be filmed, in an old essay).  That movie concerns the great event of history in which a vast army of Ottoman Muslims attacked the great city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and great cultural center of Europe at the time, rivaling Paris, Rome and London -- and which the European Christians, in an alliance led valiantly by Polish King Jan Sobieski, repelled successfully.  Even after that stupendous defeat, Muslims continued to attack the West, but their star (and crescent) was by that time definitely on the decline, while the West was already advancing astronomically, with exponential leaps and bounds at each passing century after that.

Islam would not begin to recover until well into the middle of the 20th century, helped by a concatenation of circumstances and events, including the serendipitous discovery of oil (in a century when oil was the lubricant and lifeline for a burgeoning global economy) and the disastrous opening of the gates of the West to Muslim immigrants beginning in the 1960s, and increasing with each passing decade into the present.

Or, as I described the problem of Muslim immigration in a recent essay (The Multifarious Strategy of Jihad):

... at first it was a slow trickle, then in the 80s and 90s it began to pick up; then after 911, the West didn't do the normal thing and shut off the water, but rather paradoxically & perversely turned the spigot way over to allow a gush of immigration, and kept it going for years as though it were running a nice big, long bubble bath. Then, after the logical devolution of the Arab Spring into the metastasizing train wreck of ISIS, it's like the West took a sledgehammer to the water pipes, or backed up a van to knock over the fire hydrant, or actively pitched in to topple levees to help this Mohammedan Katrina devastate our societies.

Speaking of Muslims wanting to devastate our societies, Renzo Martinelli's movie is a salutary reminder of the perennial desideratum Muslims hold dearly -- to conquer "Rome" (i.e., the West) -- enacted in an event that should be well-known to all Westerners and taught in our schools, the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

Astutely, director (and co-writer) Martinelli begins the movie with the Italian monk and preacher Marco d'Aviano, played by F. Murray Abraham.  The religious oration to a crowd delivered by him at the movie's start would be just as relevant today, at any Pegida rally.  Throughout the movie, indeed, d'Aviano continues to be a main character, as he should.  As an article published by the National Catholic Reporter described him (for more details, see my essay from 2013):

Marco d’Aviano, known as a fiery orator, persuaded European Christian monarchs to lift [i.e., to repel] the Ottoman siege against Vienna in 1683. A biography records that during the fighting, d’Aviano brandished a crucifix at the Turks, shouting, “Behold the cross of the Lord: Flee, enemy bands!”

Well known in the 17th century as a preacher of penance and a miracle worker, d’Aviano is thus something of a patron saint for European Christians alarmed over Muslim immigration and fundamentalism in Islamic states.

Italian director Renzo Martinelli, who is making a film based on the life of Marco d’Aviano, asserted that “without him Italian women would today be wearing the burqa.”

I was recently heartened to see that one can watch the film in its entirety on You Tube -- click here.

The aforementioned article goes on to quote Cardinal Schönborn who reminds us that Marco d'Aviano "was no bloodthirsty crusader. When the imperial armies defeated the Ottomans at Belgrade in 1688, for example, d’Aviano interceded to save the lives of the surrendering Muslim troops."

Can you imagine any Muslim cleric -- in the 7th or the 17th or the 21st century -- interceding during a Muslim victory in order to try to prevent the gratuitous slaughter of the defeated Infidels?

Neither can I.

Further Reading:

My review of the movie.

PC MC TV (scroll down to the "Discussion" for links to older essays of mine on movies and television with regard to the problem of Islam).


Anonymous said...

HESPERADO you wrote: I hadn't thought much about Martinelli since I saw The Stone Merchant, so I thought I'd Google him to see what he's been up to. I was pleasantly surprised to see a 2012 movie he made about the Siege of Vienna in 1683, titled The Day of the Siege.

That can't be true. I learned about the movie The Day Of The Siege years ago in a post in this blog.

Hesperado said...

Thanks Anonymous, yes I mentioned in an old post in February of 2013 (linked in this essay here in fact) that an Italian director, Martinelli was (at the time) planning on making a movie about Marco d'Aviano. Strictly speaking, it's accurate to say "I hadn't thought much about Martinelli" -- since that doesn't mean I hadn't thought about him at all... The time it took for me to discover, then note that he was working on that movie, and then to relay it in that essay was about 30 seconds of my life; then I went back to thinking and writing about other things until last week...

Thanks for reading my blog so closely!

Egghead said...

True story: Two days ago, my children and I were at the petting zoo at the most upscale outdoor mall in Richmond, VA - a mall with many headscarved women shopping every time we go.

Right around 5pm, as a group of 6-8 young adult Muslim men walked by the petting zoo, someone made a very loud clapping or banging noise which caused all the parents to jump and look - at the group of young adult Muslim men who walked away looking back at the petting zoo - laughing hysterically as they went....

Egghead said...

Instructive article as to police tactics:

Hesperado said...

Your true story, Egghead, was likely a combination of having fun at Kuffar expense and a dry run calculated to study Kuffar reactions to sudden threats.

Egghead said...

Here we go. A drop in the bucket