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From: Jonathan D. Beard <email@example.com> Subject: Re: REPLY: War movies are wrong, how and why Date: March 10, 2010 11:24:26 PM EST To: H-NET Military History Discussion List <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU> I cannot participate very much in the current war movies debate because I have not seen many war movies in the past 40 years, but I would like to offer two comments. 1. For those who have seen The Hurt Locker, or simply like beautiful photos of ordnance, this is a good photo essay: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/05/photo_essay_the_real_hurt_locker 2. Mark Stout asks whether even an inaccurate movie scene is "knowledge destroying." I think it is possible for movies to be "knowledge-destroying," and the Westerns I grew up seeing in the 1950s met that description in some ways. At a trivial level, I have read (I am no expert on Western US history) that there is no record of there ever having been a classical two-man face-off gunfight in which the antagonists draw their pistols and fire at each other. At a more significant level, the depiction of Indians and their role in the settlement of the frontier presented such a distorted and inaccurate version of history that it made relations between American Indians and other Americans more difficult, with unfortunate consequences that continue today. I certainly don't think that Howard Hawks and John Wayne "caused" the conditions I have seen in South Dakota, but having grown up in the West, with quite a lot of contact with Indians, I was taken aback when I met people from the East Coast whose only notion of Indians was from Westerns. Whether they had had knowledge these films destroyed, I doubt, but what they had was negative, in the sense of less than zero, and I wonder if many war films might fall into this basket. -- Jonathan Beard firstname.lastname@example.org ----- For subscription help, go to: http://www.h-net.org/lists/help/ To change your subscription settings, go to http://h-net.msu.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=h-war -----