Saturday, April 14, 2007

Steven Spielberg as a contemporary Leni Riefenstahl?: Did the threat of this analogy get Spielberg to act on Darfur?

Many people who worry about Darfur have been disturbed about China's refusal to push the government of Sudan to stop the genocide. A few months ago I began to receive emails from these folks expressing their dismay that Steven Spielberg was aiding the Chinese in the production of the Olympic Games.

According to the New York Times Mia Farrow, a United Nations UNICEF goodwill ambassador, wrote Spielberg that unless the Chinese changed their policies vis a vis the Sudan he could well become "the Leni Riefenstahl of the Beijing Games".

Though there is no confirmation that this is what caused Spielberg to act, he wrote the Chinese to express his concerns. They dispatched an ambassador to the Sudan and to Darfur.

If you are sure who Leni Riefenstahl was you can see my earlier post on her. Suffice it to say that she helped the Nazis consolidate their rule with her gifted film making.

Wouldn't it be ironic and telling if this week -- when American has been totally transfixed with Imus and other aspects of popular culture -- we witnessed icon of popular culture bring some action in relation to this terrible genocide.

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