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Tomorrow, the Red Dawn remake, the original movie dating from 1984 which describes the Soviet Union invading America and the resistance of group of teenagers, will be released in theaters in an attempt to capitalize on America’s remaining Cold War-era fears.
The original Red Dawn was made in the middle of the 1980s, during the very real Cold War and, like Rocky IV or other movies of that period, symbolized a time where threats of another world war seemed real beginning with America’s main enemy, the Soviet Union. The 2012 remake, which narrates a North Korean invasion of the United States, is void of any sense of reality — which would not be that important if it did not deteriorate an already mediocre American general knowledge of foreign policy.
The long 2012 presidential campaign was punctuated by ignorant comments on foreign policy, which included that Russia remains America’s arch enemy. The movie perpetuates similar disinformation by describing a surprise attack by North Korea with hundred of planes and thousands of soldiers. In reality, North Korea has been facing famine for the last decade, this year will be even worse and its army, while numerous, has been underfed and under equipped for years. The recent missile launch fiasco is an example of it. Meanwhile, polls shows that the North Korean threat remains very real in the American psyche and entertaining this fear does not serve any good.
The fact that the movie originally featured China as the invader, before the hopes of capitalizing on the Chinese market convinced the producers to change the flags in post production, further illustrates the gap between reality and fiction. But, as this story goes out in the media after the film’s release, many viewers will likely substitute North Korea for China as the real enemy, therefore encouraging a misunderstanding of the American-Chinese relations. The election period has done its share of damage to popular trust in the United States major trade partner and banker, immortalizing China as a potential military threat to the United States will not help.
The common link between China and North Korea is that they are the last vestige of a communist threat, Cuba being negligible. In a time, when so many confusions and fears are projected on Obama’s rampant “socialism,” reviving the ghost of communism seems somehow inappropriate. I do not believe that today’s complicated world relations, especially since 9/11 and the rise of trans-boundary terrorism, and the lack of clearly identifiable enemy should justify a return to the “less” complicated period of the Cold War, where the world could be painted in black and white.
The entertainment industry has shown its capacity to produce quality products that adequately paint today’s elaborate geopolitical relations in shows like 24 or the recent Homeland. It is time to completely abandon in the cloakroom any pre-Berlin wall fall’s ideas and stop blinding the American public from the complexity of the real world.