A few days ago Captain America: Winter Soldier, began its theatrical run in the United States. It is one of those blockbuster movies in vogue, such as Oblivion, Ender’s Game, The Hunger Games, and Star Trek: Into Darkness, which critically denounces the trend that is leading the country to become a repressive police state from its proclaimed war against terrorism.
Only this one has the peculiarity of focusing the fight against Fascism as an internal phenomenon rather than unloading it on external enemies.
According to political scientist Lucas Bowser on his website Victory Post, “It is exciting that a very symbolic and mainstream franchise is carrying such a heavy political load, as it juxtaposes the modern U.S. national security state with Nazi Germany. The messages of the film point neither toward the political left or right, and instead easily reach out to dissenters from multiple orientations having common concerns about the degradation of civil liberties and abuse of power.”
“Rather than serving as a tool of state propaganda by fighting foes from the list of Washington’s contrived enemies in the real world, Captain America is instead fighting fascism where it poses its greatest threat:”here at home.”
Captain America is a fictional character created in the 1940s of the last century by Marvel Comics for its cartoons and comic strips which were distributed in many countries as propaganda for the United States during World War II.
In several Latin American countries, children of my generation knew him as “Capitán Maravilla” or “Captain Marvel”; perhaps to conceal the obvious propaganda purpose in favor of one of the contenders in the war.
The protagonist is Steve Rogers, a fragile young man changed to human perfection by an experimental serum that turns him into Captain America, a superman that helps the United States in the war. Captain America wears a costume with the flag of his country stamped on his chest, and is armed with an almost indestructible shield that can be used for defense and thrown against the opponent.
Captain America was the most famous comic strip character during the war, but when it ended the popularity of the character faded and it was discontinued in 1950. This film is a sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
The main story in Winter Soldier is that the dominant intelligence structure has fallen into the hands of fascist forces that act as a network within the government trying to establish an authoritarian and totalitarian empire, euphemistically identified as the “New World Order.”
Thus, the plot centers around the rogue network orchestrating the implementation of a long term agenda for such a “New World Order”.
The chronicles of Captain America have been incorporated into real world events and politics since the comic’s creation in 1941; but in this new film the superhero awakens to a more sophisticated conception of patriotism in the face of the monumental corruption of power which mirrors modern America.
Naturally, this superhero movie –one we could classify as a political conspiracy/spy thriller– touches many current issues: drone warfare, helicarriers to spy satellites designed for pre-emptive punishment of threats, state-secret whistleblowers, Obama’s targeted assassination list, mind controlled government assassins, NSA-style surveillance, the U.S. government’s operation for recruiting former Nazi scientists, and the ever-present proposition of sacrificing liberty for the promise of security.
The film talks about Project Insight, essentially a system of interlinked mega-drones which collect and analyze the population’s private information in order to designate people as future threats and to preventively kill them.
Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, becomes a fugitive from the government, and is forced to fight the very system he worked for in previous films and comics.
I must warn you that this 2 hour and 16 minute movie with a 170 million dollar budget, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios, has many of the characteristic sins of Hollywood entertainment: especially the belief that problems and crises are caused by individuals and not by the system; or that the solutions will come from the heroes and not the masses.
May 31, 2014.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann http://www.walterlippmann.com/docs4077.html