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Here's Looking at You

Hollywood, Film and Politics, Fourth Edition

Ernest Giglio

Now in its updated and expanded fourth edition, Here’s Looking at You: Hollywood, Film & Politics examines how the tangled relationship between Hollywood’s global film industry and the politics of federal and state governments manifests itself in the real world of political campaigns and in the fictional world of Hollywood films.

The book contradicts the film industry’s assertion that it produces nothing but entertainment. While it is true that the vast majority of Hollywood films are strictly commercial ventures, hundreds of movies—from Birth of a Nation to The Help, recreated stories like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty and historical pieces such as Lincoln and The Conspirator—contain political messages, both overt and covert.

This new edition begins with President Obama’s re-election and includes new photos and statistical data, three new chapters and eight case studies that provide in-depth analysis of special films that are certain to challenge existing views and stimulate classroom discussion. Here’s Looking at You serves as a basic text for courses in film and politics and as a supplement in American government and film studies courses. Film buffs and general readers will also find it of interest.

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Chapter 10. Mission Accomplished? Hollywood and the Afghanistan-Iraq War Films

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Chapter 10

Mission Accomplished?

Hollywood and the Afghanistan-Iraq War Films

“All wars are fought three times. There is the political struggle over whether to go to war. There is the physical war itself. And then there is the struggle over differing interpretations of what was accomplished and the lessons of it all.”

—Richard N. Haass, former State Department official and author of War of Necessity, War of Choice

“These guys have no problem with killing.”

—1st Recon marine to embedded reporter Evan Wright during the invasion of Iraq

“I try not to cry. I have never cried this much in my entire life. Two great men got taken from us too soon. I wonder why it was them n’ not me.… I try every night to count my blessings that I made it another day but why are we in this hell over here? Why? I can’t stop askin’ why?”

—Pvt. Ryan Hill, MySpace Blog from Iraq, November 1, 2006

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