This Independence Day, indulge yourself in watching these great films about America’s flaws. If you don’t currently reside in America, these films may instead serve as a cautionary tale. These contemptible and infuriating films detail America’s long history of intolerance, greed, and arrogance. Though this list could be longer if we included more documentaries (e.g. Sicko, Super Size Me, Southern Comfort, or This Film is Not Yet Rated) or other classic silent films (e.g. Intolerance), we decided to remain conservative . . . for once.
Memoirs of Geisha
Destroying cultures by bastardizing it, this is a surprising but poignant example of American ignorance and imposition. After American men started traveling to Japan to be with geishas, geisha culture nearly ceased to exist.
Full Metal Jacket
Anger often forms from hurt or injustice, and the Vietnam War bore much of that. Although there are a number of excellent films about Vietnam that could have made the list, Kubrick’s wonderfully crafted epic about a troop of Marines evokes these intense emotions flawlessly.
Dances With Wolves
Ravaging land, and killing those who stop progress is the American Way.
Colonel Marshall’s attempt to make money by disregarding troops is it’s own catch 22. Bureaucracy also added to the frustration, but doesn’t it always?
Stealing land isn’t the only American legacy.
Bigger, Stronger, Faster*
Here we see Christian Boeving, admitting to taking steroids since he was 16, but posing as the Hydroxycut spokesman, saying that the supplement transformed his life. His answer: “If they chose to believe that that is the only thing I take to look like that, then so be it. They should be smarter.”
Network would be on the list even if Sidney Lumet did not recently pass. The film foreshadows a time when corporate greed not only disregards artistic merit and intelligence, but also life. Ratings become more important, and it begs you to exclaim, “I am mad as hell, and I am not going to take it anymore!”
House of Sand and Fog
Due to America’s flawed bureaucracy and, again, greed, four people fight for their lives and a house.
Boys Don’t Cry
America’s obsession with normalcy suppresses understanding in this infuriatingly true story of Brandon Teena, a transgendered man.
Birth of a Nation
Few films are so ambiguously racist as this classic. The ambiguity almost adds to the contempt.
By Guy Stridsigne 7/4/2011