I was disappointed in this film. I was hoping for something I could show my liberal friends; this isn't it. I think many people, asked to summarize the point of the film, would say: "Genocide is bad." That impression is reinforced in the interviews at the end, where one of the producers describes three limitations of the film; they are all about the difficulty of portraying the actual horror of genocide in a video. The obvious premise of the video is that the reason people support gun control is that they think genocide is really not such a bad thing. Nothing could be more ridiculous--or offensive. The film is the rhetorical equivalent of a video which put together 60 minutes of gruesome images of gunshot wounds, then solemnly intoned at the end that anyone who opposed gun control was morally responsible for these murders. Sweeping claims about vicarious morality such as are made in this film are debatable at best, and are not a good way to win converts. At the very least, anything that insulting requires very strong, explicit support. I think the genocide issue is a potentially useful one for reaching liberals, but, as is often the case, I think it requires something more delicate than a sledgehammer touch. Genocide is also such an obviously powerful lever for yanking people's emotions that it is very quickly perceived as manipulative and exploitive in contexts like this, and tends to be rejected just as quickly. I wonder if the people who made this film have ever found that the sledgehammer approach by their opponents was helpful in changing their own minds.
It's basically a counterpoint to Bowling for Columbine. Of course, it's same
appeals to emotion, the sledgehammer approach, and even the not-so-great
evidence backing their claims make reasonable people doubt the movie, just as
we doubted Bowling for Columbine. However, reasonable people aren't who the
movie was intended for. The people who gave Bowling for Columbine an Oscar
aren't reasonable. The tens of thousands who flocked to theaters again and
again to watch it aren't reasonable. The daily Oprah Winfrey devotees who
take movies like Bowling for Columbine as Gospel aren't reasonable. Yet, they
make up the majority who consistently vote for anti-gun candidates. That's
why Innocents Betrayed was filmed -- to win over the Ricki Lake set.
You're right. This movie is definitely not for liberals smart enough for you
to call friends. It's for the liberals watching the CBS TV movie on Ronald
Reagan who actually believe that the doddering old man started the AIDS