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OSS117

OSS 117 is a parody of Spy films most notably James Bond. Although, this film involves a French secret agent in the late fifties, I couldn’t help but draw a few parallels between his blunders and the American foreign policy of today. One of these first blunders occurs when XXXX while attempting to make small talk with his beautiful Egyptian contact tells her that “her language is not at all pretty.? American’s it seem are always willing to judge another language as being not as worthy as English. However, even if our language is right now the lingua franca of the world it has not always been and likely will not be for all that much longer. Chinese will likely take that role in the perhaps not too distant future. I wonder how I would feel if someone told me that my language was not a pretty language, something which my children’s children would likely have to endure if English loses its status in the future. A second blunder is when he also tells her that her Muslim religion and civilization will not be around for long since it does not permit drinking. This seems to also be a common theme in the American foreign policy spirit. We have a bad understanding of history and its cyclical nature. Saying that an ancient culture such as that will not be around for too long because it doesn’t conform to today’s status quo is like saying that our culture will last forever. I wonder how much longer our civilization will be around. Plenty of scholars and philosophers are already predicting its downfall and I wonder what that will be like. Finally, he addresses his Egyptian foreman for his cover business in a tone that is meant to benevolent but comes across as condescending and racist. I find that this is also a common theme in our political world. Americans believe that they are the height of civilization because of their wealth, their technology and their industry and all countries that fall short of these standards are thought of as primitive and treated as such. We think ourselves as benevolent for helping these “poor savages? with little trinkets and gifts much like the character in the movie did for his foreman. However, in the movie his foreman unimpressed and outraged at this patroness and betrays his “benefactor.? In the movie, one sees this with a clear eye for what it is but in the real world I think we often lose sight of this.

I think that this spoof much like other genres shows the superiority of European cinema. Even those films which are meant to be funny can be taken on a different level to reveal more about the world. Austin Powers, our version of the genre, fail to do this and resorts mostly to sexual innuendos and childish humor. Furthermore, It seems likely that this movie is a critique of Western civilization and not just a spoof much like the famous satires such as Candide are both funny and at the same time harshly critique their age and time.