Based on The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis, docudrama Thirteen Days provides a brilliant screening of the two-week Cuban missile crisis of the United States and the Soviet Union in October of 1962 presented from the perspective of the White House, in particular the former US Attorney General Robert. F. Kennedy. The movie stars Kevin Costner as Kenneth P. O’Donnell, Bruce Greenwood as John. F. Kennedy and Steven Culp as Kennedy’s brothers.
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The plot is based on the findings of the U.S. spy of the Russian nuclear missile installations on Cuba, which posed a major threat to the USA and could serve as a trigger of nuclear war. The political team with President Kennedy in the forefront composes a plan to solve the problem without violent involvement since the U.S. military attacks could cause military strikes on the part of the Soviet Union despite the Pentagon’s advice to take immediate actions on the invasion of Cuba and destruction of the missiles.
However, President rejects the war establishing quarantine, i.e. the U.S. Naval Forces establish a blockade of the Cuban waters to make sure no missiles are sent to Cuba. Moreover, a series of attempts is made to reach a beneficial agreement with the Soviet Union. The thirteen days long crisis involves the correspondence between the US and the Politburo that results in Kennedy’s clandestine decision to remove the U.S. missiles from Italy and Turkey following the Soviet Union’s claim in exchange for their removing nuclear missiles from Cuba.
The movie is highly dramatic, profound and thought-provoking leaving no viewer indifferent praising accurate and rational foreign policy decisions of President Kennedy, and examining the underlying factors of the political decision-making process that presupposes maintaining rationality in crises often being pressed by other forces.
As far as The Hunt for Red October is concerned, the movie is directed by John McTiernan and based on the novel with the same name starring Sean Connery as Marko Ramius, Alec Baldwin as Jack Ryan, Scott Glenn, and Sam Neil. The film tells the story of the pursuit of the Soviet nuclear submarine Red October with Captain Marko Ramius on board who is trying to defect heading to the coast of the U.S. by American naval commanders led by misconceptions of Ramius’ intentions. Alongside this, Russian Naval Forces try to find the submarine to punish the escapee. The only person who understands the real motives of Ramius is CIA analyst Jack Ryan considers that it is his to reveal the defection.
At that time, Ramius kills the official onboard the submarine who tried to reveal the submarine orders. As soon as the U.S. officials find out about the USSR’s plans to sink Red October, Ryan is sent to the North Atlantic to prove that Ramius intends defection. Eventually, Ramius gets to know that he is exposed and teams with Ryan to seek asylum in the U.S. Furthermore, the stratagem continues supported by several attempts to sink the submarine. However, Red October survives leaving everybody under the erroneous assumption of its destruction.
The movie deals with the themes of the arms race of two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, the counteraction of their political systems and ideologies, methods of government, the jeopardy of this opposition taking into account the rise of nuclear weapons and the Cold War. Moreover, The Hunt for Red October concentrates on the character of Jack Ryan the one who sees the real nature of things, emphasizing how wrong assumptions may entail drastic consequences as in the case of the U.S. Naval Forces that believed in the allegedly claimed threat of Red October for New York. All things considered, the film is a successful and skillful representation of the book.
The last but not the least movie I would like to focus on is Fahrenheit 9/11, a very controversial, debatable, and highly acclaimed documentary film directed by Michael Moore. The film dwells on the presidency of George Bush, his policy of the government, and media coverage of the War on Terror making a strong emphasis on the incompetency and dishonesty of the President concentrating on the events of September, 11.
Moore refers to outrage and censure of Bush’s war against Iraq that was directed not at the peaceful settlement of the conflict but served as coverage of vast waste of public funds. Moreover, it is stated that the war was launched under the assumption of the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan that allegedly threatened the world. Additionally, Moore points out that through extensive media coverage of the War on Terror that was aimed at drawing attention from more vital problems and the real culprits, Bush’s administration tried to inspire the feelings of terror among the U.S. population.
On top of that, the director claims that the fact of the clandestine evacuation of bin Laden’s family after the 11th of September was suppressed. Moore also examines the military and national safety records finding evidence that casts doubts on Bush’s honesty and concern about the nation.
On the whole, the film presents a major denunciation of Bush’s presidential policy examining the questions of war, terrorists’ attacks, and Bush’s unhealthy connection with Saudis. Since terrorism is regarded to be a weapon of mass intimidation, a premeditated act whose main purpose is to achieve the psychological impact of violence or the threat of violence to effect political change, Moore’s viewpoints over presidential reaction on the events of September 11 is seen as condemnatory.