Scoot Blog: Movie ?Olympus Has Fallen? shows new type of terrorists
How quickly prejudice can shift!
Even before 9-11, Americans have equated the word ‘terrorist’ with Islam and that has led to a growing prejudice against all Muslims. In the movie “Olympus Has Fallen,” the terrorists are North Korean and one initial thought was that this would cause some people to now ‘hate’ Koreans. That has indeed happened.
Since the release of the movie, there has been a wave of social media racism toward Koreans. Here are a few social media comments from people who have seen “Olympus Has Fallen:” “Watching Olympus has Fallen, (bleep) you you (bleep) piece of (bleeping) Koreans” – “I’ve never wanted to smack a (bleep) more in my life” – “Just saw “Olympus Has Fallen.” I wanna go buy a gun and kill every (bleeping) Asian.”
One of the first things that came to mind as I watched the movie was that there would be new prejudice toward Asians and unfortunately, I was apparently right. Entertainment should not have the power to manifest hate, but understanding the relationship between entertainment and society I wasn’t surprised.
Too many people have a problem distinguishing a movie from reality. Often I have talked about the criticism of movie-makers for basing movies on real or historical events that are not 100% factual. We are supposed to go to movies for the purpose of being entertained – not for a history or current events lesson. Yet, many people will form opinions about real life and real people based on ‘entertainment’ from Hollywood.
Movies that depict facts or fantasy have the power to invoke feelings and strong emotions, but to walk out of a movie with an actual prejudice demonstrates that some people don’t know how to use and interpret entertainment. It’s important to differential between a movie and reality – even when the movie reflects a current reality.
The other thought that came to mind while watching “Olympus Has Fallen” was whether or not an attack on the White House could actually happen. As I watched, I realized it was just a movie, but the plot seemed plausible. The cinematic visuals of the White House burning and part of the Washington Monument collapsing make you think, ‘what if this really happened’?
Some will argue that because of 9-11 it is inappropriate to show a terrorist attack on America, especially on iconic symbols like the White House, but does the idea of America being attacked again by terrorists actually instill a strong sense of patriotism and the desire to protect America?
The effects in “Olympus Has Fallen” are excellent and at times the violence is graphic. The storyline is riveting and while you may sense how it will end, you are still compelled to watch and see what actually does happen.
The relevance of the movie is haunting considering the current tensions with North Korea and in the movie the head of Secret Service is a woman. Very recently President Obama appointed a woman to head the Secret Service for the first time in history. The movie would have been produced long before it could have been known that there would be threats from North Korea at the time of the movie’s release and that the President would appoint a woman to head the Secret Service.
Enjoy “Olympus Has Fallen” as a movie and don’t allow the storyline to cause you to be prejudiced – and we should also not allow the actual news to led to prejudice. No one should judge entire groups based on the actual or depiction of the behavior of a few and it’s important to remember that every group has extremists.