The Fifth Estate (2013)
On 17 July 2007, a series of attacks took place from the skies of Baghdad. In the first, fire is directed at a group of a dozen or so men. Among them were two war correspondents working for Reuters. Eight of this group were killed including one of the war correspondents. In the immediately following second strike, fire is directed at the wounded. Clearly wounded, and posing no risk – though he had posed no risk prior – the second correspondent was killed by helicopter fire as he was being helped into a van. Two further men were killed, two children within the van wounded, and their father killed. A spokesperson at the time stated that coalition forces had been engaged in combat against a hostile entity. For several years that interpretation was accepted. On 5 April 2010, however, Wikileaks released footage of these strikes and a story different than the one previously spun was told.
Seven years after Children of Men (my reaction to which can be read here), Alfonso Cuarón has returned with Gravity. In Gravity, a foreign country blows up one of its own satellites. That apparently happens (as China destroyed one of its own in 2007). However, in Gravity, this sets in orbit debris which destroys an American spacecraft and leaves several astronauts adrift in outer space.
In an article surrounding new atheism, Simon Hooper understands representatives of the phenomenon to assert that rather than simply being tolerated, religion should be countered, criticized and exposed by rational thought. Viewing religion as detrimental to human progress, Bill Maher, in Religulous, seeks to bring the rational into conversation with the religious.
Stories We Tell (2012)
In Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood writes that when a person is “in the middle of a story it isn’t a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard are powerless to stop it. It’s only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all; when you’re telling it.”
Only God Forgives (2013)
The headline read: “Only God Forgives. Cannes Audience Does Not”. Being referenced was the not inconsequential number of walkouts during the screening of Only God Forgives. It has further been reported that of those enduring this picture in its entirety, many greeted the final credits with booing. One reaction, although positive, admitted that Only God Forgives would nonetheless “have people running for the exits and for the hills.”