Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Is the New Brad Pitt Flick--WWZ--an Exercise in Zombie Zionhass?

I haven't seen it, but someone who has--Hendrick Hertzberg of the New Yorker--has some mighty disturbing things to say about it:
Early in the film, for example, we learn that while the governments of the United States, Russia, and the big European powers have been pretty much obliterated (though their cable-TV news networks are still going strong), two countries, and only two, have managed to survive the onslaught of the undead: North Korea and Israel.  
A curious pairing, that, don’t you think? The axis of … of what, exactly?  
North Korea does well because its dictatorship is so ruthless that it succeeds in forcing everyone in the country (with the exception, presumably, of Kim Jong-un and selected other Kims) to have all their teeth pulled, so that nobody can bite anybody else. (Zombiefact: you can’t be gummed to undeath.)  
What do the Israelis do? They build a wall. But they’re basically humane, civilized people, so in Jerusalem, where we join them, they keep a gate open to let in the as-yet-uninfected un-undead—Palestinian Arabs, by the look of them. All goes well until some Palestinians already in the city start singing too lustily, and the massed zombies, also seemingly Palestinian, decide that they want in, too. (Zombies are attracted by loud noises.) This leads to the most remarked-upon scene in the film, which takes place at what resembles the Western Wall. The scrambling West Bank zombies just keep coming, climbing on top of one another until they form a giant ex-human pyramid, a siege engine of the undead, stacking up and spilling over the barrier. We are left to infer that everything probably would have still been O.K. if only the gates had been kept shut.  
One has to wonder what foreign audiences, which are crucial to the commercial success of this type of expensive Hollywood spectacle, will make of all this. Will they conclude that the filmmakers saying that Kim Jong-un and Benjamin Netanyahu are the wisest leaders in the world, except that Kim is a little bit wiser, because he’s uncontaminated by humanitarian sentiments? North Koreans still have a few teeth in their heads, but Israel has already built a wall. Will foreign audiences, or potential audiences, interpret the film’s message to be that the only thing wrong with the existing wall is that it’s not sealed tight enough?  
I’m pretty sure these were not the filmmakers’ intentions. What they did intend, obviously, was to give a boost to the battered ideals of internationalism...
Scrambling West Bank zombies, you say? Man, I'd have loved to have been a fly on the wall when this movie was first pitched ("It's like a cross between Night of the Living Dead and Jew Süss...").

In the Nazi era, Judenhass was used to boost the battered ideals of nationalism. It should thus come as no surprise that Zionhass, the Jew-hate of our time, would be used to boost internationalism.

No surprise--but revolting all the same.

No comments: