Social and Economic Oppression in Paradise Now

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The situation in the Middle East is portrayed in a different perspective from American media and cinema. Paradise Now focuses on social, economic, and racial forms of oppression because culture is continuously changing and evolving, therefore, oppression is considered a global phenomenon. Dickenson states that the industrial trends of Hollywood globalization, becomes pillars in the hegemony of corporate ideology (240). Cultural hegemony, along with cinema and media, are co-responsible for the social and economic forms of oppression, such as racial inequalities. This essay will focus on social and economic forms of oppression in Paradise Now and the racial inequalities that co-arise from American cinema.

Schudson states that media reinforces the cultural hegemony of dominant groups by making any existing distribution of power, natural or common sense (168). He argues that oppositional views appear unreasonable or Utopian, that being said, Hollywood and American cinema are co-responsible for globally influencing culture (Schudson 168). Culture is a system, which distinguishes human beings based on social and economic factors such as terrorism (Allal 5). Paradise Now, displays terrorism in a perspective that is different from Hollywood films, Hollywood, portrays terrorists as hard-core fundamentalists that are unforgiving and evil, where they terrorize and kill people (Khatib 311). In Paradise Now, terrorism and fundamentalism are linked, in fact, the terrorist occupation believes that suicide missions are the only way for freedom to be achieved. The cultural idea of terrorism, goes hand in hand with the social forms of oppression.

American cinema, portrays Islamic fundamentalism as a threat to basic freedoms, such as the fre...

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...can cinemas, negative stereotypes are promoted and the American way of life is spread worldwide” (Miller 29). Cultural imperialism plays an important role in the global spread of American culture, and the dominant ideologies of western society. Ideologies are responsible for the racial inequalities that are embedded in society, as a result, cultures have become Americanized either directly or indirectly, through the media. Therefore, the perception that all terrorists are selfish, hateful, and destructive people co-originates from American cinemas, which is partially responsible for the racial inequalities present today. Paradise Now showcases the inequalities, lack of respect and loss of dignity that are associated with social and economic oppression, where violence is used as a means of self expression because citizens are filled with feelings of despair.
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