- Three quotes by U.S. filmmakers: Michael Moore and John Sayles denounce the Iraq War and its enablers, while Oliver Stone denounces Hollywood’s perennial warmongering.
Michael Moore and John Sayles’ Iraq War quotes: American taxpayers’ names on U.S. bombs and the complicit role of the U.S. media
Below are a couple of quotes – both by independent U.S. filmmakers – about the George W. Bush administration and its allies/enablers’ calamitous Iraq War.
At a July speech in Phoenix, Arizona, Academy Award winner Michael Moore (Best Documentary Feature for Bowling for Columbine, 2002) talked about a few brief scenes in his controversial blockbuster documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, which shows brutal dictator Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as a place of peace and happiness until the American-led invasion turns the country into a living hell.
“I wanted to put a human face on the people there. Those Iraqi people – those people – they are human beings with souls and they have every right – every right – to live the same as you or I. They are no different. … We all pay our taxes and that means we paid for those bombs. That means your name and my name is [sic] on those bombs.”
Two-time Oscar nominee John Sayles (Best Original Screenplay for Passion Fish, 1992, and Lone Star, 1996) has also lashed out against the Iraq War and its enablers. Sayles, whose latest film, Silver City, is an exposé of the American political system, recently attacked the U.S. media’s complicit coverage of the Iraq War. Via Today.com:
“These miniseries were running on the American news that just seemed liked pep rallies. Despite reporters being embedded, we felt like we were watching Armed Forces Radio and TV. It didn’t feel like there was any perspective at all, any analysis, or even any facts, in some ways. So we felt like, we’ve got to get into the conversation.”
Apparently, Silver City was John Sayles’ way of getting into the conversation. But unfortunately for those involved in the project, not many were eager to hear what they had to say. Silver City ended its run after collecting only $1 million at the domestic box office.
Starring Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Chris Cooper (Adaptation, 2002) as a privileged dimwit aspiring to become Colorado’s next governor – until a corpse threatens to derail his plans – Sayles’ political satire/drama mix features a stellar supporting cast: Maria Bello, Danny Huston, Mary Kay Place, Thora Birch, Miguel Ferrer, Daryl Hannah, Michael Murphy, Ralph Waite, Kris Kristofferson, and Best Actor Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl, 1977).
Oliver Stone quote: Down with pro-war Hollywood movies
And here’s another war-related quote by a U.S. filmmaker: Two-time Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone (Platoon, 1986; Born on the Fourth of July, 1989) says it’s hypocritical for critics to rant about his violent 1994 social satire Natural Born Killers while praising movies that glorify war. Via The Irish Times:
“Natural Born Killers is a satire, whereas movies like [Ridley Scott’s] Black Hawk Down and [Steven Spielberg’s] Saving Private Ryan contribute to an aura of patriotic inevitability and an awe of the military.”
Set in Mogadishu, Somalia, the real-life-inspired flag-waiver Black Hawk Down (2001) earned Ridley Scott a Best Director Oscar nomination.
The World War II flag-waiver Saving Private Ryan (1998) was the runaway favorite for the Best Picture Oscar, but, in a major upset, it ended up losing to John Madden’s romantic period comedy Shakespeare in Love.
Nonetheless, Spielberg did take home his second Best Director Oscar statuette. The first one had been for another World War II-era drama, Schindler’s List (1993), which also won Best Picture.
“Michael Moore & John Sayles’ Iraq War Quotes” endnotes
The original source for the Michael Moore quote is no longer available.
See also: Two brief Pedro Almodóvar quotes about the the Catholic Church’s long history of anti-gay bigotry and the issue of same-sex marriage. And Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan says his latest movie is not ‘anti-British’ propaganda.
Chris Cooper Silver City movie image: Newmarket Films.
“Michael Moore & John Sayles’ Iraq War Quotes + Oliver Stone Excoriates Hollywood Warmongering” last updated in December 2022.