I’ve been following the insane international drama of probably one of the world’s most unwatchable film Innocence of Muslims and its trailer’s rising popularity from a couple thousand views to 13+ million views in the last couple of weeks. It’s one of those cases where the story of the movie and its maker is much more fascinating than the movie itself. Ironically and sadly, it’s also a global marketing slam-dunk for American right wing Christians who are proving their point that extremist Muslims take religious insults seriously and they will kill you if you defame them.
In the name of good taste, I am not posting the trailer or the film but instead Hillary Clinton’s comments on the film’s phenomenon. I’ve personally tried to watch the 13 minute trailer of the movie several times but I couldn’t finish it because it’s simply unwatchable and silly in terms of both its content and style. I can barely make sense of what it is about. But everything about this movie from the filmmaker himself to what it is “doing” is nothing less than fascinating.
First, without Youtube, the instantaneous global media distributor, this phenomenon couldn’t have happened for better or worse. The last similar case that happened was Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses that caused an international fervor in 1988. I remember the Berkeley bookstore, Cody’s Books, was bombed for selling the novel. Refusing to bend to extremist pressure, Cody’s stocked even more copies of the novel and instituted a bag check for its customers for several months.
While Rushdie is an internationally acclaimed author whose fate couldn’t escape the Muslim extremists’ threats and went into hiding for years, the filmmaker of Innocence, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, is a Cerritos resident with arrest records ranging from intending to manufacture meth and bank frauds.
Can the new breaking bad be making an offensive religious movie on Youtube?
My experience is that Youtube is extremely sensitive in terms of pulling anything that’s vaguely sexually explicit or ideologically offensive to the popular American liberal values. Why then isn’t Youtube willing to pull Innocence?
Is pornography worse than material of bad taste that fuels international terrorism?
I’d love to hear what you think… but is there a way to talk about this unwatchable movie without watching it or adding fuel to the fire?