‘The Martian’: the new world order

It was adapted from a novel written by Andy Weir in 2011. On a mission to Mars, an astronaut named Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is believed to be dead after a severe storm and left behind by his team members. But Watney is alive and finds himself alone on Mars. Using his limited resources, training, intelligence and endurance, he manages to survive and contact Earth. In a bold decision, his team members take part in a rescue operation. The US and China work in close cooperation to ensure Watney’s safe return to Earth.

“The Martian” not only is a good science fiction film but also has hints about the new world order. The astronauts consist of WASPs and Mexican Americans and a German. The film places emphasis on Catholicism via the Mexican American astronaut. Although Hollywood is overwhelmingly dominated by American Jews, “The Martian” does not have any symbol related to Judaism. There must be such a symbol; perhaps I missed it.

Young scientists of Indian, Chinese and African origin work at NASA. In old Hollywood films, Asians or Africans working at NASA would either be bad guys (agents, thieves, murders, etc.) or perform menial duties such as cleaning the WC. In “The Martian,” NASA is aided by the People’s Republic of China. In the film, China has state-of-the-art technology and Chinese women are beautiful and tall. Overall, Chinese people are portrayed as well-meaning people who instantly extend a helping hand to Americans. The old Hollywood films’ typical profile showing Chinese as short, ugly and timid people who speak a hardly understandable English, who live in Chinatown and who operate restaurants and deal with illegal affairs wasn’t used in this film.

In addition to the US, the UK and China rejoice at the return of Watney to Earth. Hollywood’s old films on international friendship would feature Russians next to the US. But there is no Russian in “The Martian.” “The Martian” is proof that there is coldness between the US and Russia. In the post-Cold War era, Hollywood typically nurtured a negative perspective about Russians. Russians used to be portrayed as agents, members of dormant cells, murderers and mafia members.

“The Martian” has also no room for the Muslim world, Arabs and Turks. And that was a good thing. Before World War II, Hollywood would adopt a positive approach to Arabs, but the image of Arabs became negative in the wake of the Arab-Israeli wars (1948, 1967 and 1973). Despite this development, the positive perspective about the Muslim world continued until the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. In Rambo III, produced in 1988, Vietnam veteran John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) fought against the Red Army in cooperation with the Taliban, the father of al-Qaeda and the grandfather of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). When the Red Army retreated from Afghanistan in 1989, the Taliban — which nurtured a synthetic Salafi ideology — came to power, taking advantage of a weak central government. In the post-9/11 era, Hollywood films started to depict Muslims and Arabs as terrorists or terror supporters. Arab are often associated with bloodshed, violence, backwardness, dark skin color, dirt, neglect, illegal affairs, unlawfulness, tribal system, hot climate, deserts, camels and the clothing style of Gulf Arabs. Turks are portrayed in auxiliary roles in illegal affairs.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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