Friday, June 08, 2007

Documentary Double Feature: Six Days in June/Shut Up & Sing

Six Days In June (Ilan Ziv, 2007) [6]
This is a well researched, with much in-depth analysis and interviews but it still leaves out the consequences of the war. Now this wouldn't really be a problem but in the beginning of the film, it states what consequences Israel's victory and occupation have wrought, but then never does explain them. What I find most interesting about the historical impact of the Six Day War was that it probably has done more to hurt the Israel-Palestine peace process than help it. The occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights and their population by Zionist settlers has been one of the main problems and one of the biggest consequences of Israel's victory but is never touched upon. Another major consequence was by the humiliating defeat of the Arab armies in 1967, it can be directly linked to the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism as the main voice of the Arab people, not the pro-socialist pan-nationalism being championed by Nasser. Again, mentioned in the beginning but never covered. Those ideas interest me just as much as the war itself, which is thoroughly covered and explained in the film with no bias towards any side. Ziv did just about as good as he could on the war, but I felt addressing the aftermath was just as important.

Dixie Chick: Shut Up & Sing (Barbara Kopple, 2006) [6]
What's most amazing is that Natalie Maines made a statement that was essentially a joke and had no real anti-war ideas in it but somehow all the rednecks in this country went apoplectic. I could see how what she said could be offensive to Texans but how one simple statement made them pariahs is hard to believe. Kopple plays it safe too much at times, especially as the film progresses and the events in Iraq seem to vindicate what Maines had said. The one aspect that Kopple handles subtlety but I feel is the most important aspect of the Dixie Chicks' entire situation is the gender issue involved here. I don't find it surprising that most of the people shown protesting in the film are male. There's something about conservatives in general, not just men, that can't stand to here a woman actually have strong opinions. It's not surprising to me to see men being the most upset and names like 'Dixie sluts' being used. A conservative world like country music preaches conformity and when someone, especially a woman that' s supposedly part of that movement happens to disagree, it sets those people off. Freedom of speech obviously doesn't apply to country music.

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