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Orientalist Musings And Their Applicability To Three Kings

2427 words - 10 pages

Orientalist Musings and their Applicability to Three Kings

The concept of Orientalism is one in which Edward Said, a renowned intellectual with a solid background in the field of Arab study, is particularly knowledgeable. If the concepts surrounding Orientalism are broken down into specific elemental degrees, then Said portrays the American conception of Arabic entities and their inhabitants with a plethora of stereotypes that generate a false depiction of the Arabic culture. This, of course, is only an extremely small portion of the grandiose Orientalist dilemma that is currently quite prevalent in modern day society. Yet, for this paper’s ultimate purpose, this sector will ...view middle of the document...

Typically, by the end of an American film, there are a significantly greater number of Arab bodies than that of the superpower, in this case the United States of America. To a greater extent, Three Kings plays around with this typical film-like mentality. In the film, when the men are stranded and are looking for some way to escape from the village and rescue their man Troy, George Clooney states, “we are not supposed to be involved with this, we killed Iraqi soldiers, violated the peace accord, and a plane will not come for us.” Conclusively, based on this statement, it is known that Iraqis were killed. First off, this displays the power of the US Army. Yet, the American soldiers are not free from harm’s way themselves. They are still in a position of extreme danger, and these killings hardly quelled the status they possess being located in such vitally harsh whereabouts. In this case, Iraqis were killed in a manner of self-defense. Instead of the Americans looking all-mighty and powerful, they look fairly vulnerable because these killings could be looked at as a necessity facilitated in order to sustain life. This is the case as oppose to the American military men solely participating in a recreational killing-spree. The fact that Americans had to kill for internal protection is more than a slight alteration in the manner in which a typical Arab vs. American situation is depicted. In addition, after the soldiers killed Arabs, they were still not entirely free from the danger that surrounded them.

Contrary to the occurrences in most other Hollywood based action movies, the Americans do not escape from their surroundings scott-free. Their man, Conrad, is killed trying to acquire the gold. Furthermore, he is not depicted as an intelligent and stalwart individual like most American films portray a typical American. Usually, these characteristics associated with positive appeal are utilized in a juxtapositional attempt toward the negative depiction of an Arab, in order to facilitate a feeling of American supremacy amongst filmgoers. Instead, Conrad is seen as a member of the greater nation’s “white trash” community. The film has this ability to fuse some of the stereotypes associated with an American with those associated with an Arab. Through these means, a comedial approach is used in formulating an apt depiction of Conrad’s white trash background. In the movie’s introduction, when all of the other men are shown in their places of employment hard at work, Conrad is shown in the middle of the “sticks” hunting for survival. What does this say about the film? Well, it displays the ability of the film makers’ to move away from stereotyping other cultures, notably those of Arabic origin, and begin to do to us what we have done to them for so long, a brave attempt on the film maker’s part.

Furthermore, American vulnerability is shown when, early on, when Conrad instructs the Iraqi people to stand back and...

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