Hollywood's Post-Cold War History: The ‘Righteousness’ of American Interventionism

Trevor B. McCrisken and Andrew Pepper

in American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print February 2005 | ISBN: 9780748614899
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670666 | DOI:
Hollywood's Post-Cold War History: The ‘Righteousness’ of American Interventionism

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In the giddy optimism that accompanied the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the attendant disintegration of the Cold War, commentators, particularly from the American right, looked to a rose-tinted future in which the United States bestrode the world as its only superpower. In recent years, Hollywood has produced a steady stream of films that focused upon the role of America in various unilateral and multilateral military interventions. The question is how these films work to produce or unsettle particular established or consensual views about the inherent ‘righteousness’ of U.S. military actions and, as a result, how they undermine or reinforce traditional understandings of the benign meta-narrative of American history. This chapter focuses on two films: Three Kings (1999), which immediately disturbs the conventional view of the Persian Gulf War, and Black Hawk Down (2001), which shows the devastating impact that modern weaponry and warfare can have on the human body.

Keywords: military interventions; United States; films; history; Hollywood; Cold War; Persian Gulf War; Three Kings; Black Hawk Down; warfare

Chapter.  9963 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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