Question by Jim: The Movie “Machete” Causing a Stir Over Illegal Immigration?
The post is a little long but this is a shorter version:
Rodriguez made a point of promoting the film a few months ago with a trailer that called out the state of Arizona for its controversial new immigration-policing law, stoking fears among anti-illegal immigration hardliners that the finished movie would be even more inflammatory than it is.
It also prompted the state of Texas to consider withholding filmmaker tax incentives from Rodriguez, a move that could have a devastating impact on movie production in a state that has become a haven for independent filmmaking thanks largely to Rodriguez himself.
And it could well stir up an anti-immigrant fervor that could hurt the film at the box office or even impact this fall’s Congressional elections. That’s a lot of backlash for one little movie full of laughably over-the-top violence and sexuality, but then, Rodriguez and his crew have hardwired outrage into ‘Machete,’ so they can’t be too surprised if it riles people.
The movie isn’t necessarily arguing for open borders or laxness in law enforcement; nor is it suggesting that current immigration policy is driven entirely by racism (though all the villains in the movie, even Mexican druglord Torrez, are played by white actors).
Rather, ‘Machete’ is saying that powerful interests (business, politics, even organized crime) are depending on illegal immigration (as a source of cheap labor, or as a way to stoke the fears of voters) to boost profits or shore up political power, all the while cynically exploiting illegal immigration as an issue and illegal immigrants themselves as pawns.
The carpetbagging senator likens illegal immigrants to terrorists and makes a campaign ad that compares them to maggots and parasites, but the real parasites in the film are the wealthy and powerful who prey on both immigrants fleeing to America and citizens who already live here.
There was some initial backlash. The panel at Fox News’ late-night show ‘Red Eye’ took some potshots at the trailer, arguing that the movie fomented disrespect for law enforcement (though that’s true of half the action movies made) and that opposition to illegal immigration isn’t necessarily racist (not that the movie says it is, but that’s a point not clear from the broad caricatures shown in the trailer).
FoxNews.com posted an alarmist article about the film (“Violent Movie Declares War on Arizona for Immigration Law,” read the headline), which is no longer available to read at the website.
Syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones (who, like Rodriguez, is based in Austin) claimed to have a final copy of the script and said that ‘Machete’ aimed to provoke a race war. (Whether or not Jones really did have a script, many of the inflammatory scenes he described do not appear in the final cut of the film.)
Jones criticized the Texas Film Commission for allowing Rodriguez to receive grants and tax incentives for the movie, especially after it had denied similar tax breaks to a proposed film called ‘Waco,’ about the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound, under a Texas law that allows funding to be withheld for film projects that portray the state in an unflattering light.
Rodriguez may even receive some flak from Latinos, since the movie traffics in tongue-in-cheek racial stereotyping even among its heroes.
The underground resistance network is run from a taco truck. Machete infiltrates one villain’s lair by pretending to be a gardener, and he attacks the bad guy’s henchmen with pruning shears and a weed whacker. The illegal immigrants drive to the climactic battle in a fleet of pimped-out, bouncing lowriders.
Answer by iluvGOD#2
thanks 4 the 2 points
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!