American entertainment contains a very rich vein of pride about the American way of life and the legal and social principles the country was founded on.
Have a look at movies from ‘Mr Smith Goes To Washington’ (which is about the wholehearted belief in the philosophy of the american political system) to Spielberg’s recent grown up fare like ‘Bridge of Spies’ (about not compromising the concept of legal due process) and The Post (about holding the powerful to account using the fourth estate).
They all tell stories inspired by going back to political basics, about using systemic and institutional political tools to bring about change or defend against injustice when it affects real people. It’s enough to get any god-fearing American standing in the theatre to cheer and break into a rendition of land of the brave with gun in hand.
But think about this – where does American entertainment come from? Movie directors, film executives and everyone in between, and if they’re successful enough at it for their products to be seen and consumed globally they have one thing in common – they’re personally wealthy.
Go to a poor Hispanic family struggling to raise their children, both parents working more than one dead end job each where their combined income doesn’t cover accommodation costs in many major american cities, let alone leave anything over in case someone gets sick.
Ask them if they believe in the due process of law and they’ll tell you they can’t afford a lawyer if they get into trouble – that if they take a court appointed one it’ll be some kid just out of law school who hasn’t yet joined the financial bonanza that is the american legal system. Ask them if they believe in speaking truth to power and they’ll tell you they have no voice because despite being close to a majority in their own country their countrymen and women elected a racist idiot to the presidency.
Nobody is happier with the status quo of the economic system under which they live (or can afford to be) than the wealthy, and it’s the wealthy who get to tell us stories about our world.
Subscribe to FIB’s newsletter for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!