A Movie Too Liberal for Liberal Film Critics?
What if they made a pro-Palestinian movie so biased it alienated audiences AND liberal film critics alike?
Miral, out this week on Blu-ray and DVD, attracted dozens of movie patrons earlier this year en route to a $373,420 haul, according to boxofficemojo.com. Even by indie film standards that tally is embarrassing.
Audiences had little interest in the story of how a beautiful Palestinian woman (played by Slumdog Millionaire stunner Freida Pinto) learned to stop worrying and love the Intifada. But even movie critics, an almost uniformly liberal clan, decried the film's bias and shoddy storytelling. The movie scored a pathetic 18 percent "fresh" rating at RottenTomatoes.com, one of the Web's biggest review aggregator sites.
"How can you appeal to both sides when you tell only one side's story?" asks Newark Star-Ledger critic Stephen Witty.
Miral does feature some haunting imagery, but it stuffs speeches into the mouths of its characters and can't bother to mention any reason why Israelis would need military force to protect its own citizens.
The film industry in recent years has made it a habit of forcing unappealing films down the public's throats. The anti-war screed Lions for Lambs tanked? Brian DePalma's Redacted was seen by less than 10,000 people during its theatrical run? Let's make Fair Game and Green Zone.
So maybe we'll see a Miral 2: Bombs Away in 2012.