Thursday, January 11, 2007
The Good Shepard -- the etiology of the CIA: I think I enjoyed this film more than most. Perhaps I enjoyed it because I am a very political person and think so often about national and international issues. I am constantly trying to figure out which side is really right. It seems each decade I change my mind. Perhaps it is because history and its analyses change from era to era. With the exception of the moral superiority of WWII, US policy becomes, I think, questionable, throughout the cold war era and beyond. Perhaps no one is all right and no one is all wrong. This country has done some nasty things BUT so has every other country. International politics is not soft and cuddly and if one needs a teddy bear I suggest the CIA, FBI, etc. is not for you. This film, I agree, seems not to take a firm stand although it surely does give one pause as to US interrogation techniques. I think one can relate much to contemporary events and arguments against (and for) torture.
The definite flaw, in my opinion, is the aging process of the actors. Angelina Jolie remains twenty something from decade to decade as does Matt Damon as does Tammy Blanchard and others. It was hard to tell the difference between the ages of Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie's and their son. That made it hard to follow and believe.
I did love the performances though and I loved the subject matter despite the film's lack of statement. Perhaps every film does not have to hit one over the head (so to speak) telling us its definitive point of view but rather should spark discussion of, in this case, power politics and its necessary bedfellow -- immorality. How far would one go to protect oneself, one's family or one's country even if it meant that you had to commit an immoral act to do it? That is a good question and I cannot think of a better time in history to ask it. A warning: It is a long film but I did not look at my watch once!