It's not fake! This really happened: "On Friday, Palestinians in the West Bank took the analogy to heart, dressing up as the blue natives of the planet Pandora for their weekly protests against the Israeli occupation and the ongoing construction of a barrier in the town of Bilin." The video:
At least Avatar has no such pretensions—it knows that it is a work of pop. But unlike most works of pop, its fiction contains a politics that can be translated into real terms, in the real world, in the real Palestine. With The Hurt Locker, things happen the other way around:
(CNN) — A U.S. soldier who defused roadside bombs in Iraq wants credit for inspiring the main character in "The Hurt Locker," a movie up for nine Oscars this weekend.This movement is from the real to fiction, and the fiction, as the producers make so clear, was emptied of any real (useful, political) content.
Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday claiming writer Mark Boal — a journalist embedded with his Army unit in Iraq — based the film's main character on his life.
"They literally transposed his life in the film and then claimed it was a work of fiction," said lawyer Geoffrey Fieger. "The only fiction was the claim it was a work of fiction…"
"The screenplay says he is a blonde, blue-eyed trailer trash from Tennessee, but he's blonde, blue-eyed and grew up in a trailer in West Virginia."
Without directly denying Sarver's claim, the production company said it was "a fictional account of what brave men and women do on the battlefield."Recall, this is the kind of thinking ("what brave men and women do on the battlefield") that led to the vapid/valueless/dangerous patriotism of "Support Our Troops." The Hurt Locker is bad politics and bad pop.