Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Bhutto Assassination and Charlie Wilson's War

With the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, I ask the question, what does Universal do, if anything, with Charlie Wilson's War? Particularly with a certain line in the film?

What do I mean? Bhutto's father was assassinated by the Pakistani military in 1977, allegedly traced back to General Zia Ul-Haq, who took power.

In the battle to supply arms to the Afghan rebels, Zia was a strong U.S. ally before his own mysterious death in 1988. In doing so, he became an ally of Congressman Charlie Wilson, played by Tom Hanks in the film. Joanne Herring (played by Julia Roberts) turned her ceremonial consular appointment from Pakistan into a platform for supporting the Afghans, and she became a strong ally and personal friend of the Islamist Zia.

A film with an assassin of Bhutto as a hero would be loaded enough today. But one of the laugh lines of the film is Herring's reality-shaky declaration to a political luncheon that "Zia did not kill Bhutto." (It's hard to convey the humor of the line in this short space. You need the whole background.) So there's a heavily advertised movie out there at the moment that's likely to leave an unpleasant bit of reality in its audience's mouths.

So will Universal do anything? Or leave as is? And what should they do?

1 comment:

rEVOLution '08 said...

You know, a similar controversy surrounded Big Trouble. It was due out just after 9/11 but it involved airline violence. In my opinion, the scenes were so madcap as to be wholly inoffensive, but I guess the country still needed to heal - they pushed it back to 2002.