Monday, January 31, 2005

Films and Red America

Here's an interesting piece from the ancient film reviewer for The New Republic, Stanley Kauffmann, on the lack of distribution of foreign and independent films in middle America and their tendency to vote Republican and believe anything the media and Republicans tell them. He's not claiming that mass showings of Bergman and Kiarostami would produce a Democratic majority in America and neither am I, but certainly there must be some correlation between the lack of intelligent arts and well-traveled, educated and worldly people and the inward-looking, xenophobic, ultra-patriotic middle parts of our country.

Of course part of this problem is that so many young progressive-minded people flee their red state or red county homes for a few cities as soon as they can rather than stick around and try to change the place they are from. I can understand this but more progressive people moving to and staying in Bristol, TN; Birmingham, AL; and Sioux Falls, SD could do wonders for changing the politics of this nation. Maybe they could even bring a few good movies with them.