Directed by American expatriate William Klein, Mr. Freedom is a bombastic attack on the America of the 1960s that begins as satire but ends as a full-blown condemnation. This groundbreaking, landmark American film masterpiece about two families during the Civil War and Reconstruction periods was also extremely controversial and explicitly racist. The changing ways that these films portray the internal experience of the warrior, along with the change in their overall depiction of the nation and its guardians, are signs of deeper developments with unnerving ramifications. Pause here a moment and think back to 1942’s Casablanca, an Oscar winner surely as great as any film of the studio era. Though the film is mainly focused on revealing Bolivia’s culture of political and economic corruption, the addition of an American criminal mastermind is a cultural statement that cannot be ignored. The American way is most effectively dramatized in the person of Captain John Miller, through Tom Hanks’s awe-inspiring genius for communicating the complexities of decency. The threat of global jihad is all too real, and the stakes are all too high. People thought of them, fought and died to establish them, not in the ether, but on solid ground. But despite Bong’s insistence that the film wasn’t intended to be maliciously anti-American, many audiences in Korea have viewed it as such. “One country offends another,” a second says. Liberals often argue that in criticizing American actions and culture, artists are actually defending American principles by holding the nation to its own standards. After Joker and the other recruits reject Pyle and assault him, the gentle fool goes mad and kills both the DI and himself—a cataclysmic end to the struggle between the two men, and symbolic of the violent suppression of Joker’s internal struggle as well. But, of course, the peace didn’t last. Locked in an echo chamber of fashionable leftism, our filmmakers have lost the ability to question those discredited assumptions. If they don’t get the cells, they will detonate powerful bombs that will reawaken the dormant Godzilla so he can ravage Japan. It is marred by two of director Steven Spielberg’s most prominent traits: sentimentalism and a tendency to turn characters into archetypes. It was best summed up by Wilfred Owen’s famous poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” which sneers at “the old lie” that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. Two years later a sequel entitled Momotaro: God Warriors of the Sea was released, which featured the anthropomorphic sailors freeing Pacific islands from British rule. His latest novel is Damnation Street. True, the Bible tells us that we lived in a peaceful paradise before we acquired that knowledge. Like Conway in Sands of Iwo Jima, Taylor must set aside gentleness for the greater good. “Are you smoking this shit so’s to escape from reality?” he sneers at Grodin’s drug-taking disciples. Perhaps best known in the West for his Palme d’Or winning film The Cranes are Flying and the directorial cause célèbre I Am Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov also directed a notorious piece of anti-American propaganda entitled Conspiracy of the Doomed. As war threatens, he begins a passionate affair with another man’s wife, Katharine, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. As ham-handed as Ryan’s moral lesson may be, it also seems irrefutable. Thomas Dixon Jr.'s anti-black, 1905 bigoted play, The Clansman , the second volume in a trilogy. A generation of young men had been wiped out for reasons that remain murky even today, slaughtered in their millions by a technology that seemed to eliminate any trace of martial sublimity. Whether through Stone’s tortured paranoia or Kubrick’s cultural self-hatred, the Vietnam films’ bitter vision of the warrior’s initiation went hand in hand with Hollywood’s increasingly negative depiction of America. Movie artists—like all artists except the most original—are the products of the atmosphere of fashionable opinion that surrounds and sustains them. As he takes on his father’s warrior role, the son learns his father’s terrible secret: that in defending his home, he becomes estranged from it; in defending his values, he has to contravene them; in defending civilization and peace, he has to steep himself in uncivilized violence. “Oh, well, if that’s it, I shouldn’t be here at all. The 1949 film Sands of Iwo Jima, directed by Allan Dwan, is a good benchmark against which to measure that transition. The film won an Oscar for best picture and remains an extraordinary movie to this day. But the American soldiers weren’t depicted as vicious or villainous; they were just soldiers that happened to be on the opposite side of the Japanese during a terrible conflict. America’s liberty and toleration: yes. American heroism is deemphasized, Japanese courage underscored. Post–cold war revelations showed that Americans were the good guys after all, a liberal president presided over healthy economic times, and it seemed to the inattentive that we might never again have to deal with any real wars. For the most part, that English Patient logic, the logic of lofty cosmopolitanism that is, in fact, the deadly logic of radical selfishness, continues to prevail in Hollywood when filmmakers confront the actual presence of war.