AMAZON PRIME — THE LOOMING TOWER — SEASON 1–2018
The series is packed with action, suspense, and violence. It is centered on trying to understand 9/11 based on what was revealed by the various auditions and investigations afterward. But the film is very brutal as for the reality of the incompetence of both CIA and FBI, but particularly CIA, in dealing with Al Qaida and Muslim extremism and terrorism. The CIA knew about the attack, knew that some Al Qaida operatives were on US soil some fifteen months before the attack and taking flying lessons in many training centers, and this very CIA did not inform the FBI who could not intervene and arrest the said Al Qaida operatives.
The series is brutal in its showing how the rivalry between these two agencies led to criminal attitudes that directly enabled 9/11 to be successful. The CIA, including in the post-attack investigation, kept their lies and stuck to a false version of what they had done, covering their back more than trying to bring the truth out. It is true the truth is that they were absolutely criminal and no excuse or penitence will erase that guilt. At the same time, the FBI was often brutal and in no way diplomatic or conciliatory. They love duress and use it all the time, including with top security personnel in top-secret meetings. That’s always the result of some individuals who at times have been in the job too long.
At the same time the series does not show as much and as well as necessary the monstrous imperialism to which the Islamic world is submitted, and as for that nothing has changed since 2001, far from it. It thus only shows the fanaticism and the extremism of the Muslims but not the exploitation, condescendence, and hatred it has to suffer from the West and in this case from the USA. Then the anger of these Muslims is not explained and it will continue recurring. All together this series sounds too often like Chopin’s little dog running after its own tail.
The main question though has to do with why Americans need today to go back to this episode of their history? It is obvious this episode was the last straw that broke the camel’s back and, at times based on fake information and lies, the USA started sending troops everywhere in the Middle East: Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Syria, then Yemen, and some caress the idea of sending some in Iran and maybe Pakistan too.
These wars have been going on for nearly twenty years, more than twenty years if we consider the first Gulf War. And it is still going on and there is no sign of an end. Recently the Americans have espoused and expressed the idea that they have to get rid of some leaders and regimes here and there. It is obvious that they had a far more far-reaching arm in the 1950s and 1960s when they got rid of Mosaddegh in Iran, Lumumba in Congo and so many others. Going back to these methods will not make the USA great again but it will nurture the hatred against the USA and the West for many decades to come.
The series is interesting but at the same time, it does not explore the real problem of imperialistic policies imposed onto this region of the world by essentially one country with at times the opposition and at times the timid support of some allies. There is a lot to do in the future and learn for example that only Arabs speak Arabic from birth and that the majority of the people concerned in the Middle East speak Indo-European languages: Kurdish and Farsi for two simple examples.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
LAW AND ORDER — SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT — SEASON — 8–9–10–2007–2009
This version of the Law and Order series is interesting because it reduces the justice part to as little as possible, except when there is a real problem in court, such as the decision of a verdict that frees a criminal, a murderer most of the time on some technicality or some doubt about the intention of the criminal.
The sexual dimension of these cases is always quite obvious but can be of many different types from voyeurism to stalking and to rape and murder. This dimension of these crimes is interesting because it erases the cases themselves, or nearly. This dimension is so shocking that we do not try to really understand the subtlety of the investigation that is not always very subtle as if the nature of the crime justified some sloppy and violent procedure on the side of the police.
But on the side of the main characterization of these crimes, we deal with illegal immigrants, some racial minorities, sexist people, incest, pedophilia, and quite many other colorations and dressings. It is these options that give the series an interest because then they deal with real social problems in New York. And it is open enough to look at sex crimes in a more comprehensive way than just from men against women.
It is rather entertaining and easy to watch, even if after a while it appears somewhat redundant. It is also true that the short format of the series does not encourage any analysis in depth of the circumstantial and existential context of the crimes.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
CHARLIE BROOKER — BLACK MIRROR — WHITE CHRISTMAS — 2014
A strange situation, or maybe two strange situations. On one side a peeping-tom voyeur who uses modern technology to get inside the bedroom and the bed of two people who are going to have casual sex, the man having been guided step by step into the situation and into this end by the voyeur and his audience. But unluckily the woman is different and for her, this sex episode has to be the full and final contact with the man she has selected, and thus sex for her is death for both.
The voyeur did not report the crime and thus is in custody pending some sentencing.
On the other hand, a young man discovers by accident his wife is pregnant. She declares she wants to get rid of the child. He refuses. She uses some advanced technology to block him for her. Both cannot have any contact at all until she lifts the blockage. But she dies in a car accident, leaving the child behind in the hands of her father.
The supposed estranged father is no longer blocked and he can approach the child. He discovers the child is not his, but that of an Asian friend of the family. Out of rage he kills the father and abandons the child who dies in the cold outside when she leaves the house. The man is imprisoned and the victim of a sentence that blocks him in the father’s house, the child dead outside in the snow, but he refuses to confess and there are no witnesses.
The police use the great competence of the voyeur to project himself into the house and lead the man to confess his crimes. He is condemned to spend an eternity in this house with blaring Christmas music, each one of the real-time minutes is experienced as if it were five years long.
The voyeur as for him is free but he is blocked by everyone and is thus condemned to have no contact whatsoever with any human. Tomorrow technology is leading us to the worst possible enslavement to the police, the state and some kind of fatalistic future. To get some pleasure and adventure you have to break the law. There is no escape: it will be known sooner or later and then you will be turned into some kind of virtual being going through some unimaginable torture. Welcome to hell on earth and in prison.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU