Friday, January 07, 2005


We just watched Man on Fire for sultry Denzel Washington and as Stephanie Grant said, it's a Bush reelection movie. All Mexican men are corrupt or impotent (or both, as is the father-husband character who cannot respond to his seductive American wife). The best father is a kidnapper who is indifferent about his pregnant wife and disembodied as "the voice." It takes an American -- here cast as a black American -- to become the stand-in father and stand-up guy as penance for unspecified patriotic crimes in the line of counter-insurgency duty. The Mexican men are not portrayed as conventional machos, the virality drained from them by corrupt economic third-world ambition. The Mexican spunky daughter is played by a blonde American. The American wife tunes in and out of a southern-belle accent. The enduring usefulness of Others, altered here by a black man as the flawed born-again hero.


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