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Plastic Bag and Mummy ( 1999), Movie Review Example

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Movie Review

The film is centered on an issue that has been traditionally marginalized in mainstream media; it brings up particular point in our lives which has become a bigger issue not only for the world, but ultimately for the future generations to come. Unfortunately, not much attention has been paid on these extremely crucial environmental obstacles that Ramin Bahrani addresses in his documentary.  Bahrani chose a spectacular way of addressing this problem by having a plastic bag speaking from the first-person point of view  where the plastic bag talks about his travels and where he ends up eventually (he is taken to  wilderness where there is a wide compilation of trash that would be eventually be left in ocean and remain there for a while, but he escapes). Though, rationally speaking this is not a real talk by a plastic bag, the narrative is that this bag eventually would end up in an ocean and through time, slowly yet dangerously affect our world. This is not mythic but more like a personal story of a bag. Additionally, Bahrani used art very creatively to express his, and many others’ point of view  on this particular issue. The story is definitely relevant to most of our lives (we all use or see plastic bags around us and it would be a bit unusual if we didn’t see it unless the community is fully against the use of plastic bags). The film definitely puts the person in a moral ambiguity where one does not know whether or not go with public or “rebel” against it by fighting against the usage of plastic bags. Though this is hard, it is still possible to implement laws  through time and wit some effort that would recognize the harm that plastic bags impose on oceans and the overall society.

 

Mummy ( 1999)

Though the selection of the movie might be a bit surprising, it is yet to be recognized as one of the most stereotypical contemporary movies in last two decades. Mummy, directed by Stephen Sommers came out in 1999  is a fictional story which takes place in Egypt (though it was originally shot in Morocco).The plot of the movie is about an adventurous yet academically motivated trip to go to Egypt in order to reach Hamunaptra. Throughout the movie, the director explicitly uses vulgar stereotypical scenes to portray the Arabs in the movie. It depicts them as barbarian, uncivilized, irrational, etc. From time to time, the scenes are even overrated and seem a bit irrational from the director’s point of view since some parts seem like they’ve been integrated into the movie on purpose. This subsequently downgrades the Islamic religion that majority of Arabs belong to. Additionally, it is somewhat sad that no professional director has mentioned this negation of race and/or religion of the Middle East with one exception of Jack Shaheen who wrote a book on stereotypical movies and movie scenes in many movies that are quite popular in the mainstream. Furthermore, this leads us to easily fall for the trick and naturally digest this information and create our own (negative) perspective of these people. On many occasions these Arab “bandits” in the movie seem to go after the protagonist for no apparent reason and to capture them and try to kill them before any conversation or dialogue has begun. This takes us back to pre Civil Rights movement era movie productions where we stereotypical movies like Exodus and many others that are today considered classics. These movies should be re-evaluated in the filming society and should be given new ratings for their ambiguous plots and  out-of-context inclusions of racist scenes.

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