Acting Like They Care? Hollywood and Politics Meet in "Polliwood"
It was 2 am on a Saturday night. I was alone and in bed wondering what I could do to fall asleep and then it hit me, I can watch a documentary!
I had heard about Barry Levinson making this film Polliwood, which was filmed at both the Democrat and Republican conventions during the 2008 presidential election. It documents the experiences of a group of actors that form the Creative Coalition, a non partisan organization that champions causes involving mostly social issues.
Although the movie was interesting enough to keep me awake through it, There were some things that I would like to comment on. First, the film and the actors are supposed to be none partisan, but they clearly were not. Every time they were asked about going to the Republican Convention, they showed their concerns and reservations about attending. Also, the movie predominately takes place at both the Republican convention and the Inauguration of Barrack Obama. The actors, while trying not to appear self absorbed, come off as subtly arrogant in the film.
Throughout the film, Tim Daly, executive producer of the film, who you may remember from the Wings television series, keeps trying to convince people that he is, or at least was, just like every other American. He points out the jobs he had before making it big and stresses that his life wasn't always the way it is now. The main point you should take from this is America truly is the land of opportunity. I find this ironic because you have actors like Jim Carrey and Sean Penn pointing out the evils of capitalism, yet neither one has given up their fortunes to live a life of poverty which we would all live if we lived in a purely socialist or communist society.
I don't want to dismiss any of the good that Hollywood has lent to Washington, and I would like to raise awareness to an issue in the film they do discuss, which is art and physical education in schools. There is nothing quite like the journey a good album or movie can take you on. It can take you out of your own troubles and sweep you into a world that only the most amazing imaginations could dream. Our society will always benefit from these programs remaining in our schools and above all else proper education is the key to our future. We will disagree that government is the answer to this problem, but I will whole heartily agree that this is an important issue.
There is another important message buried in this film underneath all the self promoting Hollywood drivel which is TV has truly changed the landscape of our country and our politics. We have become so wrapped up in the unreality of TV that we have truly lost touch with what really matters, the content of a persons character, not how they look or sound on TV or radio. So please remember, the world of art can not replace our reality only help to enhance it. Actors are no more important to the world that any other person. We all must be defined by our character, not our wallets, our talents or anything else. If we can remember that, I think we will be ok.