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Monday, September 26, 2005 

Jodie Foster film attacks/insults the heroes of real life

I'd often suspected that there was something wrong with Jodie Foster, and her new "movie" called Flight Plan certainly does indicate that. Debbie Schlussel reviews the movie and gives a good synopsis of what propaganda is injected into its scrap metal script. For example:

Throughout "Flight Plan," we are given hints--very strong hints--that four Muslim Arabs are the terrorists on the plane. But in the end--breaking a cardinal rule of thrillers--the hints have no pay-off.

Instead, the terrorists are the flight's air marshal and a flight attendant.

That is an outrage for a number of reasons. Two of those reasons are Betty Ong and Madeleine Amy Sweeney. Both were among the many flight attendants who gave their lives on 9/11.

They weren't terrorists. They were American heroes. Instead of calling their families to say good-bye, they contacted ground crews and identified the hijackers. It was because of them that authorities were able to identify Mohammad Atta and his 18 thugs as Al Qaeda.

Other flight attendants were brutally murdered by the hijackers, who slit their throats.

And now Jodie Foster and Charles J. D. Schlissel have the chutzpah to portray these low-paid workers as terrorists?!

Sickening.

One of the problems with the movie is that it pulls a dirty trick in which it insults the stewardesses of those flights, by turning one here into a villianess. And another one, and the one that certainly gives away the filmmaker's bias here, is how it portrays even a lot of the other flight workers as stone cold, as explained in the following:
The flight attendant terrorist in this film is a conspirator in the murder of a passenger's (Jodie Foster's) husband; tries to murder the passenger and beats her with a large flashlight; helps kidnap the passenger's daughter and lace the plane withexplosives; commits fraud with the passenger manifest; and steals the passenger's daughter's boarding pass.

Flight attendants who are not terrorists are also portrayed harshly in this film. They are arrogant, cold and uncaring, and lazy. When Foster's daughter disappears, they are rude, don't seem to care, and resent having to look for the daughter. Two of them, who are supposed to be in a frantic search for the daughter in the plane's hull, are making out there, instead.

Then, there are the Federal Air Marshals. This movie is a huge blow to their image, especially.

Is it more likely that a dedicated, patriotic American--who goes through a lot of federal training to serve his/her country and get security to carry a gun on board--would be a terrorist hijacker . . . or four suspicious-looking, strange-acting Arab Muslims?

"Flight Plan" wants you to think the former.

(snip)

The Federal Air Marshal in this movie (played by Peter Sarsgaard) kills a passenger's (Jodie Foster) husband in Germany so he can smuggle explosives onto the flight in the dead man's coffin; laces the plane with explosives; kidnaps the passenger's daughter; hides her in the nose of the plane; steals the daughter's boarding pass and commits fraud with the plane's passenger manifest (with the flight attendant); demands $50 million; and tries to kill the passenger and her daughter.

Does this sound like a plot that will command respect for Federal Air Marshals on board your next flight? Didn't think so.
It most certainly will make me feel sorry for the marshals for the smear tactics movies like these conduct against them. This also reeks of some bad movie/TV plots I occasionally saw in years past where police officials are shown as being corrupt and on-the-take. In their inability to take any bold steps, this is what H'wood tragically does. And let's not let them fool us with the classic argument "it's only entertainment." Because entertainment does not come through discrimination and stereotypes.

Then, there's the predictable attempt to present Arabs/Muslims as courteous:
Then there are "Flight Plan's" suspicious Arab Muslim passengers. Schlissel and his production crew want you to question your suspicions of Arab Muslims, to think you are unfair and prejudiced.

That is the real message of this movie.

Schlissel picks four of the most fearsome looking actors (one of them is, in real life, Assaf Cohen, a Sephardic Jew--you know, the Jews who were kicked out of the Arab and Muslim countries they once called home). We know they are Muslim because when they depart the plane, the women accompanying them are wearing hijabs (head-scarves).

Each one of these Arab Muslim passengers looks more like Mohammed Atta than the next. And they were cast that way on purpose. Ditto for the knowing looks between them that imply they are about the hijack the plane--all done to that "evil villain" music scored in the background.

In the end, when they are innocent, and we--the evil viewers, for suspecting them--must feel guilty for wrongfully indicting them in our minds. In fact, the main Muslim Arab is so nice he even hands Jodie Foster her purse after the whole ordeal--in which she falsely accused him of being a terrorist--is over. Whatta guy. How touching.

This is the latest in a series of Hollywood releases where the terrorists are neither Muslim nor Arab. We can't have that--because it might actually resemble reality.

Easy prediction: "Flight Plan" will score accolades and image awards from Islamist groups like CAIR and MPAC.
I wouldn't be surprised if they'd even been told in advance by the filmmakers about it, in hopes of winning CAIR and MPAC's favor and "friendship."

One thing that's for sure: I won't be wasting my money on this movie.

The Washington Times also discusses what Schlussel pointed out about Foster's crummy little rustpot, and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants also spoke about it. As they say, a boycott of this movie would be a very good idea.

Also available at Basil's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Bright and Early, Cafe Oregano, Outside the Beltway. Others on the subject include: La Shawn Barber, Jihad Watch, Right We Are, Ed Driscoll, Harkonnendog, Right as Usual, View from the Nest, The Gray Tie.

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Exactly what I'd expect from Hollywood: An emotional knife in the back of ordinary Americans. And a way to wag their fingers at us, yet again, for using common sense in whom to be cautious about.

My comment is sure to generate some controversy... but, did anyone actually watch the movie?

The characterization of the so called terrorists in no way colored my perception of actual flight attendants or air marshalls. It's a story, a movie. The twist here being the bad guys were people we least suspected. For that matter, there was a point in the movie when I actually thought that Jodie Foster's character might actually be delusional, but that wouldn't have made a very good movie if that were the premise.

We don't know that this was a "real" air marshall, we only have the characters word he was. The flight attendant as his accomplice/girlfriend(?) They were trying to extort MONEY - not making a political or religious statement. And the explosion was set to detonate after the passengers disembarked with the exception of Jodie Foster's character and her daughter (necessary in order for the bad guys to get away and for the authorities to solve the crime by pinning it on a delusional, grieving woman) Plus, towards the end, the woman appears to get an attack of conscience about the child being left on the plane...she attempts to walk away.

The hints that the Middle Eastern passengers were would be terrorists only addresses today's climate... in the end the message I got when the character handed Jodie's character her purse - not everyone of a particular group or ethnicity can be painted with the same brush (a nice touch I thought)

If this movie were actually about 9/11 then I might agree with the insult to real life heroes, but it is not and in my opinion in no way detracts from the heroism displayed on 9/11 by the crews and passengers of those who died at the hands of fanatics.

Do you distrust all priests because of the pedophiles who happen to be priests? Do you distrust all preachers because of those who prey on the faithful to extort money (there's that word again!)? Do you distrust all law enforcement because of the ones who take advantage of their position? I sure don't.

This was fiction.... get over it. Don't go see the movie, but you'll be missing a good movie.

ladyhawke53,

While your argument is fair enough, I would like to make it clear that when it comes to saying something like "it's only movies/television/music/comic books, that's something that's been used many many times before, and it's simply not so.

If the Arab/Muslim passengers weren't in the movie, and presented in such a whitewashed manner, then maybe it wouldn't have been as objectionable as it is. Unfortunately, not only was putting such characters in the film otherwise pointless, it does little more than to add to the feeling that this was meant as some kind of a blame-America statement, in which the filmmakers try to tell the audience what to think/believe, just like a lot of network TV news: that the attackers are not the ones we actually saw pulling the crimes as it happened on 9-11, but rather, people from directly within our midst.

What's more, if it weren't for the way that the film industry repeatedly resorts to this kind of approach for scriptwriting, then maybe it wouldn't be as bad as is. Unfortunately, because this is the only, the sole approach we the audience are being presented with, in which Arab/Muslim characters are never shown as baddies, if at all, that's what makes it appalling.

There is also the question: if it's possible to show Arabs in roles of honest people, well then, how come Jews and Latinos, not to mention French, Bulgarians, Armenians and Swedish, are almost never or can't be presented in the exact same roles seen in this film? Why does it specifically have to be Arabs?

As for the crooks trying to extort money, or even trying to avoid causing serious damage in the process, that, simply put, is a form of moral equivalency, ditto the whole notion that only the characters' word indicates that the air marshall is one. Many filmmakers tend to be clever, and know that finding ways/defenses to try and skirt around the accuasations can help them quite a bit. This movie apparently does something like that.

I've heard excuses like those for the story many times before. This is no different.

So think what you will of the movie. But because it does things in its hackneyed script that were totally unneccasary and which could've been avoided, that it why this movie is, in simplest possible detail - a failure.

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