Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rambo's Bootleg PsyOps

It looks like the new Rambo flick is resonating and inspiring many Burmese. Hollywood could be making movies that would inspire Americans and especially people in the Muslim world in the same way. Movies that could do good by contributing to the ideological war against Islamic extremists and make money by making movies that people actually want to see. So will Hollywood learn the lesson of Rambo? It seems silly to even ask the question: of course they won't.

Stallone, who said he was gearing up to make a fifth and final instalment in the blood-and-guts series, told Reuters that media reports of his film becoming a bootleg hit in the former Burma, and an inspiration to dissidents, was a pinnacle in his movie career.

"These incredibly brave people have found, kind of a voice, in a very odd way, in American cinema... They've actually used some of the film's quotes as rallying points," Stallone, 61, said in a telephone interview.

"That, to me, is the one of the proudest moments I've ever had in film."

Residents in Yangon told Reuters this week that police had given strict orders to DVD hawkers to not stock the movie -- named simply "Rambo". Locals said fans had "gone crazy" over lines in the hero's brusque dialog such as: "Live for nothing. Die for something."

The critics may have turned up their noses at the latest Rambo offering, but for 600 Myanmar nationals in Singapore, the Vietnam War veteran's single-handed demolition of swathes of the Burmese army was a huge hit.

As the closing credits rolled on Sunday on Sylvester Stallone's latest orgy of blood-letting, this time set in the jungles of Myanmar's Karen State, whoops and cheers erupted from the block-booked audience.
For some, it was elation at seeing somebody -- albeit a fictional Hollywood character -- taking it to the foot-soldiers of a military regime that has ruled with an iron fist for the last 46 years.
After the crushing of last September's monk-led protests, anti-junta activists see the movie as a rallying cry to a cause that receives little Western backing beyond words of support for detained opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

"We wanted to show our unity," said Edward, a leader of the Overseas Burmese Patriots group which coordinated the movie's screening, complete with red t-shirts reading "We pursue peace, justice and democracy for Burma".
He declined to give his family name, mindful of the dim view Singapore authorities take of any political gathering of more than four people.

"The war is still a reality," Edward said. "Rambo can let the world know the military government is totally cruel."

Via Libertas


subadei said...

Good to see I'm not alone in recognizing the IO value of John Rambo's latest exploits. The sad reality, as you recognize, is that Hollywood's done an ideological about face in the decades since WWII and taken on a veneer of anti-patriotism.

phil said...

Hey Soob,
I originally had no interest in seeing this movie, but now after reading about the Burmese response, I'm intrigued and will probably go. Yeah Hollywood's "ideological about face" is disappointing and frustrating. I'm holding onto the hope that at some point an effort will be made to counter Hollywood's current situation and tap into the market for pro-victory movies.

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Here's you some Bootleg PSYOPS