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Hollywood and 20 years of war in Afghanistan

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Abdullah Amirzada

News TV, Kabul

The war in Afghanistan lasted nearly 20 years and was one of America’s longest and most costly wars. To date, however, fewer than a dozen American films about the conflict have been made.
On the other hand, World War II lasted only six years; however, thousands of American films were inspired by the war. It seems that Hollywood, like American politicians, is reluctant to Afghanistan, but why?
In the early days of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, the Pentagon covered up many aspects of the war and imposed some access restrictions on journalists. In movies about war, Hollywood tries to cover up horrific events that happened to the U.S. military.
Soldiers who commit war crimes are often not representatives of the U.S. military, but people with mental illness. For example, in the movie Killing Squad, we witness the brutal manslaughter of an Afghan citizen by a psychotic sergeant who collects mutilated limbs.
There aren’t even films shot in Afghanistan that, from the perspective of those affected by the war, are far removed from the reality of the war. In the movie “The Twelve,” Hollywood’s attempt to paint a heroic image of its troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan is more of a work of fiction than any real event in the war. Of course, U.S. atrocities, like soldiers urinating on corpses, are not reflected in the movie.
Actors in Hollywood movies often use a phrase to express bravery and belligerence: “I fought in Afghanistan.” However, the true story of Afghanistan and the events of the 20-year American presence in the country have never been told in Hollywood. Why do you think they are not interested in this story?



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