The Descendants– Propaganda for President Obama?January 2, 2012 No Comments
“This is a unique and dramatic situation!”– The Descendants
On Sunday I watched George Clooney’s film The Descendants. It is a comedy drama about a Hawaiian land baraon who tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.
I heard that some are calling the film which was released in November 2011, propaganda for President Obama.
I know that Clooney supports the President’s agenda, and seems to genuinely like him. At the Venice film festival Clooney had this to say when he was asked about his own political aspirations:
“Look, there’s a guy in office who is smarter than anybody you know, and nicer, and he’s having an almost impossible time governing.” George Clooney
So, as I watched the film, that point of view about propaganda was sort of playing in the background.
To me, the message in The Descendants was this: being there for your family should be a priority.
The film was shot on location in Hawaii.. where the President was born (Honolulu), and where he vacations with his family.
It showed a contemporary Hawaii and not the glitzy beaches and hula dancers many come to imagine about the state.
To me, the movie was simply one man’s journey through a family crisis.
I have wondered if having Clooney as the star was some sort of signal to the critics… given the actor’s political views… whether the film director shot certain sequences in fairly orderly neighborhoods to purposely show Hawaii from the view of working class families. President Obama’s political opponents fume that he is living the rich and famous lifestyle. There is a certain “humanness” and vulnerability around the father figure (Clooney) The movie shows the trials and triumphs of his relationship with his 2 daughters… of course the President has 2 daughters. Is this part of the propaganda that is being alleged?
At the end of The Descendants, most movie goers I imagine leave with positive impressions of Clooney, his family in the film.. and the Island. I did.
Are we to consider this to be propaganda promoted to convince us to feel good about the President, his family, and the place of his birth? It feels like a reach to me.
I am still pondering, but I just didn’t see The Descendants that way. Thoughts? I am totally interested.