Alex Jones & Aaron Dykes
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
With the violent and racially-charged film ‘Machete’ about to hit theaters Friday, Alex Jones has once again questioned the film’s potential to heighten tensions in the immigration debate or even fuel riots or attacks. Though the production crew has downplayed fears of a ‘race war’ message, recent sightings of bloody ‘Machete’ promo posters plastered throughout Latin America suggest that this violent film may still stir controversy and strong reactions.
We only hope director Robert Rodriguez and his production crew have thought carefully about what they are putting out on the big screen.
The image of a bloody machete in a clenched fist, now plastered across the Latin American world to promote ‘Machete’– spotted recently by a listener in Puerto Rico– holds a double meaning. “Todos con Machete” is more than just a rally cry to join the hero of this Mexploitation film; the machete is the common symbol for peasant uprising in Mexico, Central and South America– the weapon of a disarmed population.
The justified anger evoked by the “machete” is then fueled into the film’s “war” on immigration, as the crazed patriot senator played by Robert DeNiro declares, and Machete’s pursuit of revenge killing. In reality, the imagery this film puts forward plays into the hands of the globalists who are using “pressure populations” like the underprivileged of Latin America to neutralize the sovereignty of the United States and amalgamate the region into the North American Union and larger world government.
The message of ‘Machete’ became politicized back in May shortly after director Robert Rodriguez leaked a trailer with a special “message to Arizona” that stirred fierce debate about the film. Rodriguez backed off of the fiery rhetoric however, after scenes from the script and warnings from Hispanic members of the film’s crew confirmed its overt racial overtones and prejudiced violence. Rodriguez told Ain’t It Cool News that he simply had ‘too much tequila‘ and that many of the most controversial scenes would be cut. We hope this will prove true in the final edit premiering Sept. 3.
The image of a bloody machete in a clenched fist now plastered across the Latin American world to promote ‘Machete’– spotted recently by a listener in Puerto Rico — holds a double meaning. “Todos con Machete” is more than just a rally cry to join the hero of this Mexploitation film; the machete is the common symbol for peasant uprising in Mexico, Central and South America.
Nevertheless, many dubious statements have been issued from the ‘Machete’ camp. Producer Elizabeth Avellan told the Austin American-Statesman Saturday that:
“There were a lot of things that people misconstrued… without even knowing the script and pretending they have a script.”
The reference was clearly to Jones, who issued a video response to the very real script given to him in May by a high level source within the production team. Rodriguez himself admitted the quoted scenes were authentic, but claimed it was not from a final draft. Alex Jones told the Statesman that he doesn’t mind Rodriguez having cinematic freedom, but objects to the portrayal of white people as a “bunch of blood-thirsty, foaming-at-the-mouth killers,” adding that it “reflects bad on Texas.”
Early ‘Machete’ reviews, however, suggest the film maintains its political fury. In an exposé titled, “How ‘Machete’ Inflames Immigration Debate,” The Hollywood Reporter accuses the film of ‘skewering’ the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a particularly nasty near-likeness, wherein Don Johnson leads a band of murderous border vigilantes who shoot illegals on sight:
“Among ‘Machete’s’ more provocative elements are border vigilantes led by Don Johnson as a kind of avatar for Maricopa County’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio and fake political ads for an incumbent senator whose platform is built on his ‘hard line against (inappropriate term)’ and a description of them as ‘parasites.’ That the two characters murder a pregnant Mexican woman to prevent her baby from being born in America and then shoot her distraught husband while uttering the line, ‘Welcome to America,’ underlines the point.”
Arpaio denied the likeness, but the larger portrayal is more than provoking; it’s backwards. It is border-area law enforcement like Arpaio and Sheriff Babeu in Pinal County whose lives have been threatened. The portrayal of border & law enforcement and volunteer minute men as murderous, vicious and heartless– as written in the script and according to screening reports– is wrong indeed. In reality, the violence at the border is carried out almost exclusively by the Mexican drug gangs, backed by CIA and Wall Street banks, who use desperate immigrants for drug mules or play them into the hands of kidnappers, extortionists or human trafficking. Mexico is collapsing, and border regions in Arizona have fallen to drug lord control. The 72 migrants from Central and South America murdered by Las Zetas drug members should be a stark reminder of where the violence is coming from.
Despite the controversy over the film’s message, Alex Jones, who lead early criticism of the film after learning what the script contained, has maintained that Rodriguez has a right to put out any film he wants.
“I support tax incentives for industry and for film and the arts,” Jones said. “Robert Rodriguez has a right to make any movie he wants. If he’s putting out this hardcore, race war film– if he’s releasing it the way the script states– I think it should get its funding, but they had better remove any controls off of any other films. If they let this go forward and give it funding but then block other things, it’s outrageous.”
The Texas Film Commission, a division of Governor Rick Perry’s office, has been criticized for its selective funding and rejection of certain projects. The film ‘Waco’ was rejected and its filmmakers were reportedly told not to apply for tax incentives because the commission allegedly objected to its depiction of the massacre at the Branch Davidian church in Waco in 1993. Now funding for ‘Machete’ could fall under greater scrutiny.
While Rodriguez maintains the blood-soaked film is just for fun, its violent scenes are not only ‘torn from the headlines’ but all too likely to provoke real hatred and animosity between different racial groups. We only hope the indicators of a divisive message prove overblown as its producers have reassured us over and over again.
This article was posted: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 3:00 am