Movie Article

Liberal Art

Are you tired of all these left-leaning films? Check out today's Ask the Critic question, then post your own

Sally Field, Not Without My Daughter | Sally Field in Not Without My Daughter
Image credit: Not Without My Daughter: MGM
Sally Field in Not Without My Daughter

Do you tire of Hollywood's liberal bent?

Do you ever get sick of Hollywood's liberal yarns? —Corie

As someone who shares the values of many of those films, my answer is an impassioned ''Yes!'' Why can't we see more of a spectrum of opinion in our topical dramas? If Hollywood could ever live up to what liberalism truly means, then surely our films wouldn't be locked into such an orthodox set of views on politics or big business, let alone the hot potatoes of sexuality and race. Here's a lonely counterexample: In 1991, Sally Field starred in Not Without My Daughter, a furious, jarring rabble-rouser about a woman married to an Iranian physician who embraces his fundamentalist past, trapping their daughter in Iran. It was the rare thriller shaded as a conservative, rather than liberal, nightmare, yet in hindsight it presaged today's raging culture war. (I panned it — too harshly — on ideological grounds.) Should we stamp out movies like that one or see more of them? I know what a free society would do.

Originally posted Nov 01, 2006 Published in issue #906 Nov 10, 2006 Order article reprints
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