Fair Game, Foul Game
n a time of universal deceit, truth becomes a revolutionary act.
Although they may have been a beak for what
normally went on in the classroom, educational films were quite dull when I was
in school. Whatever the topic was, it seemed to be scrubbed of any
"flavor," making even today's PG films seem risqué.
These films all seemed to all be made by the same
encyclopedia company and narrated by the same person.
Dull! Dull! Dull!
No more -- at least if you look to some very informative
and even captivating films based on true events that have recently been
The latest one,
film that has garnered major
awards, is Fair Game - Wife, Mother, Spy, starring Naomi Watts and
the need to resort to gratuitous sex, violence or snide humor, the film soon grabs
your attention and doesn't let go until the very end.
Okay, maybe it does have a bit a sex appeal
-- the film is based on the life of a pretty, blond CIA spy by the name of Valerie Plame. (That's her in the photo.)
Fair Game is based on
-- events centering on the highly questionable justification for the Iraq war. To this point (at the end of 2010), that war has been responsible for
the deaths 100,000 people, the displacement of millions, and the devastation of
a country -- and that's not even counting the expenditure of billions of
As we now know,
"the truth was out there" but at the time it was ignored and
discredited by the well organized pro-war rhetoric.
Based on his first-hand experience in Iraq, Ms. Plame's husband, Joe
Wilson, a former Ambassador who the Bush
Administration had previously commended for his work, felt it necessary to reveal the
lack of truth in the Administration's justification for
around the world unofficially tried to warn us, saying the justification for the war was faulty, and that
based on religious realities in Iraq, it could only result in an ongoing
"quagmire." But the Bush Administration with the help of right-wing
broadcast pundits went to great lengths to silence critics.
In a very political and even treasonous move, Ms. Plame's role at the CIA was revealed. This "outing" not only put lives
at risk, but caused carefully cultivated foreign contacts to mistrust U.S.
But Bush's reelection bid took precedence, and the "outing"
of Plame made it possible for the couple to become the
open target of a well-orchestrated, politically motivated smear
To question or criticize the Iraq war was un-American -- and
for many people it still is.
riends, neighbors, business
associates turned against both of them
and their two young children, and they received death threats from US
citizens who believed what they were
being told by officials in the Administration.
Ms. Plame and her husband were put through hell -- not from
the foreign insurgents Ms. Plame was working against who were bent on taking
down the United States, but from her own government.
The truth finally came out (although by that time many people refused to believe it -- and many still do*) but it wasn't until this couple's lives
and even their marriage was virtually destroyed.
After an impartial investigation, a noted person in the Republican Administration -- a person that
believed was taking the fall for higher ups-- was found guilty of crimes related to the
affair and sentenced to 30 months in prison.
But before he went to prison Bush
granted him a Presidential Pardon.
Fair Game, considered by many critics as one of the best films of the year, won the National Board of Review's Freedom of Expression
Award in 2010.
was released in theaters in November, 2010 and is now on DVD.
Ms. Plum's autobiography, Fair Game, on which the film
is based, had to be published with large sections censored (literally and
I'm sure most of us have talked to people who still
believe the widely-disseminated but false reasons (justifications) for the Iraq war:
Iraq was behind 9/11 and that country had developed WMD's. Once people
invest in a belief, even one later proven false, it's very hard to change their
Other captivating historic films include:
Nothing But the Truth,
and engrossing film based on a true story telling how protecting
confidential sources can sometimes have profound effects. It stars Kate Beckinsale,
Matt Dillon, and David Schwinner, among others. Alan Alda's appeal
before the U.S. Supreme Court is reason enough to rent this film. More
information can be found in this blog piece.
Welcome to Sarajevo.
If you are interested in being a foreign correspondent, you should
consider Welcome to Sarajevo,
starring Stephen Dillane and Woody Harrelson. The film, which is based on a true story, makes use of actual news footage to very dramatically (and very graphically) show what war correspondents face.
Live From Baghdad
-- Action drama starring
Michael Keaton showing how CNN got exclusive television coverage of first
U.S. invasion of Baghdad. The film explores some of the ethical issues
inherent in 24-hour journalism. Although fictional, it's dramatic and realistic,
and based on actual events.
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