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May 24, 2010

Huh: Sex and The City 2 Gets Politically Incorrect.
No, Like Really Politically Incorrect.

I'm just pointing this out because I saw the trailers -- showing the film's setting as some unspecified, but Middle Ages Glamorous, Arab nation.

My thought, immediately, was that a Sheikh had come in as a financial backer for the movie and had asked, in exchange for his money, a script that portrayed his country in a positive light.

I still suppose that something like that might be true. But, on the other hand, maybe not.

Samantha is approached by an Arab sheik to devise a PR campaign for his business enterprises, and he offers to fly her and her three gal pals on an all-expenses-paid luxury vacation to Abu Dhabi. (These scenes were filmed in Morocco.) Even in an escapist fantasy, the spectacle of women sinking into this billionaire's paradise at a time of widespread economic hardship initially seems creepy and off-putting. Soon, however, their Arab sojourn takes unexpected turns. First of all, Carrie encounters her old flame, Aidan (John Corbett), at the spice market, but even more importantly, she and her friends run up against the puritanical and misogynistic culture of the Middle East. The rather scathing portrayal of Muslim society no doubt will stir controversy, especially in a frothy summer entertainment, but there's something bracing about the film's saucy political incorrectness. Or is it politically correct? "SATC 2" is at once proudly feminist and blatantly anti-Muslim, which means that it might confound liberal viewers.

Note the easy characterization, by this reviewer, of a critique of a repressive, backwards, anti-female culture -- a critique he'd usually applaud -- as "blatantly anti-Muslim."

We're always lectured that the left's scathing critiques of America are not, in fact, anti-American at all, but pro-American, in that they're brave enough to point out America's shortcomings in order to make it a better place. ("I pledge allegiance to the America that can be," Hillary Clinton once said.)

No similar wiggle-room here for a critique of Muslim culture? If you point out the obvious, you're blatantly anti-Muslim?

This isn't really an indictment of this reviewer -- it's not like he's offended by the message. I'm just pointing out how totally, completely that CAIR's messaging has become hegemonic in people's mind-space.

Even this guy, who seems mildly (with reservations) in favor of the film's messaging can't help himself but to call a well-deserved and important critique of dominant Muslim culture (the general critique is important, I mean, not necessary Sex and the City 2's particular critique) as "blatantly anti-Muslim."


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posted by Ace at 02:20 PM

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