*World War Z*

I was surprised how serious a movie it is and also by how deeply politically incorrect it is, including on “third rail” issues such as immigration, ethnic conflict, North Korean totalitarianism, American urban decay as exemplified by Newark, gun control, Latino-Black relations, songs of peace, and the Middle East.  Here is one (incomplete) discussion of the Middle East angle, from the AP, republished in el-Arabiya (here is a more detailed but less responsible take on the matter, by a sociology professor and Israeli, spoilers throughout).

The movie is set up to show sympathy for the “Spartan” regimes and to have a message which is deeply historically pessimistic and might broadly be called Old School Conservative, informed by the debates on martial virtue from pre-Christian antiquity.  But they recut the final segment of the movie and changed the ending altogether, presumably because post-Christian test audiences and film executives didn’t like it.  Here is one discussion of the originally planned finale.  It sounds good to me.  The actual movie as it was released reverts to a Christian ending of sorts.  My preferred denouement would have relied on the idea of an asymptomatic carrier or two, go see it and figure out the rest yourself.

By the way, for all the chances taken by the film makers, they were unwilling to offend the government of China (see the first link), in part because you cannot trick them easily with subtle, veiled references.  Such tomfoolery works only on Americans — critics included — which I suppose suggests a lesson of its own.

Here is a Times of Israel review of the movie, interesting throughout, and it notes that the Israel scenes are simply translated to “the Middle East” for Turkish audiences.

A good film, I liked it.  How many other movies offer commentary on Thucydides, Exodus, Gush-Shalom, Lawrence Dennis, and George Romero, all rolled into one?


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