I do believe this could be my first movie review – and for a Tina Fey movie no less. However, I guess I had to – because I was surprised. I thought WTF was gonna be a stupid movie about debauchery in US administered Afghanistan. Sex, drugs, drinking – murder and mayhem. We all know the story. Will Farrell and Seth Rogen. Stupidity.
So I’ll be honest, I was taken aback. Because I don’t really like Tina Fey – the SNL crowd annoys me. And because Hollywood’s portrayal of our foreign entanglements are usually self-serving and amateurish. Without nuance. Preachy. Boring.
All to say, I was skeptical. Evacuated from Mali – where an Al Qaida attack threw us out of the country. And on our way to Nigeria – my wife wanted to see this movie. I acquiesced. I’m glad I did. Because Tina Fey was – wait for it – good. Which is why I’m writing this, I suppose.
The movie is about occupied Afghanistan, which was a mess – as everybody knows. But I reject the “Hangover” style portrayal of our foreign adventures. What we do – attempting to liberate people from the darkness – fighting our enemies – is not a subject either for mockery or for the “Three Cups of Tea” melodramatic asinine self-congratulatory b$*%-s#@*. People’s lives; Afghans, Americans, Brits, Aussies, Pakistanis and so many others. It defined a generation – that war. My generation.
And I’m writing this because it’s what I do. Not the “three years on the front lines” war correspondent, grandiloquent story about how important reporters are and how bad the US government is. But real work, the hard work – not trying to tell the story, but actually writing the story. Doing the work. Building our place in a world that is – frankly a mess. And I’m writing this because I’ve been doing this work for twenty years. Pakistan, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, DR Congo, Mali, Uganda – etc. Decades, and no movie. Not that I’m bitter – it’s just that, well I’d love a movie; Tina Fey has a nice apartment, why not me? But alas – it might never be…
Nevertheless – I am glad for this movie. It provided my wife and I a nice moment on a crisp afternoon in Colorado Springs; and we needed a nice afternoon. The gunfire still ringing in our years, it’s nice to know that we are thought of. And the movie honored our work – which surprised me.
So – all that to say, go see this movie. If you’re interested in our role in bizarre places so far away. You’ll be better for it.