Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The BBC Presents: A Warped View of America

All laid out nicely here, in this review from the New York Sun, of the three-part BBC fictional mini-series "The State Within". We'll excerpt:

The program's title alludes to the perception, common in Britain and hardly unusual here, that since the election of 2000, America has been run by a cabal bent on starting wars and willing to engineer atrocities on its own soil in order to justify them. Beginning with a British Airways flight exploding over Washington, D.C., the film pits British rationality and (mostly) good intentions against American overreaction, mendacity, and imperial greed.
It's also a kind of left-wing fantasy about how the British-American "special relationship" ought to function."This war's illegal, Lynn," the British ambassador, Sir Mark Brydon (
Jason Isaacs), tells the American secretary of state shortly after we glimpse him in front of a portrait of Winston Churchill. "Stand the planes down!"

....The film eagerly depicts an America sliding into totalitarianism. After it is announced that the plane was blown up by a Muslim suicide bomber carrying a British passport, the governor of Virginia rounds up 200 British Muslims vacationing in his state. A panicked young Muslim couple — secular, attractive, the woman three months pregnant — is shot dead fleeing a road block. In the meantime, we learn — almost as an aside — that a million people are marching in London to protest the detentions in Virginia. Add to this a gripping subplot involving Luke Gardner (Lennie James), a British former soldier on death row in Florida, and Jane Lavery (Eva Birthistle), the comely British human rights lawyer trying to save him, it's a left-wing Disney Land: reckless neo-cons, mephitic corporations, redneck governors, the death penalty, and Muslims being rounded up like, er…

Where does it end?" demands Sir Mark, ambushing the chair of the Security Committee, Madeleine Cohen, in the Senate. "The detention of all Muslims in America? Sikhs? Catholics? Jews? I'm sure you're aware of the Reichstag Decree of 1933."
"Are you accusing me of being a Nazi, Sir Brydon?" Ms. Cohen (a Democrat) asks. No answer. Enough simply to plant the thought. At moments like these, you realize this is not a film protesting American totalitarianism; it's one that eagerly, pantingly, desires it.

Perhaps it's all that post-imperial blood in their veins, but the screenwriters, Lizzie Mickery and Daniel Percival, have an extraordinary ability to convey the feel of power, and to make the audience believe that what they're witnessing is the real thing. Their interpretation of how America uses that power is unremittingly hostile, however, and utterly ungenerous. "It's a turn-on, isn't it?" Brocklehurst sneers at Styles. "Playing with people's lives. Snap your fingers in Washington, the other side of the world quakes. I can smell the testosterone from here."...

"The State Within" is not only a terrific thriller, it's also a sobering reminder of how most of the world, including much of America, views this country now. To underline the point, BBC America is airing the first two episodes over Presidents Day weekend.

Nice one, mate.

I wonder if the Brits will call for our aid once the multicultural paradise they've concoted explodes in their face...or will they just go down shrieking that it was all America's fault, as one by one their heads are seperated from their bodies....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why do they hate us?
Becuse they want to and need to - otherwise, they may have to face some terrible truths about themselves