Weinstein 're-edited film' to give Obama starring role
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Sunday 04 November 2012
A film about the US assault on Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound was at the centre of a brewing political row last night, with claims of partisan bias in Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden.
At the centre of the confab over the 90-minute docudrama, which made its prime-time-television debut on the National Geographic Channel two nights before the presidential election, is the relationship between Barack Obama, who as commander-in-chief gave the nod to Operation Neptune Spear, and Harvey Weinstein, the film's backer and a spirited champion of the President's re-election campaign. Mr Weinstein, who was behind an array of blockbusters including Pulp Fiction and the Kill Bill movies, bought the rights to the film for a reported $2.5m at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Since then, the movie has been reworked in the editing room, though both Mr Weinstein and the film's director, John Stockwell, have insisted that the changes were not politically motivated. Instead, Mr Weinstein is said to have suggested revisions that "gave the movie context", according to an essay by Mr Stockwell posted on the Huffington Post website. "We never discussed politics. The truth is, in researching the film, I was struck by what a terrible 'political' decision Obama made... The risk/reward ratio was not weighted in his favour."
But according to The New York Times, the film "has been recut, using news and documentary footage to strengthen Mr Obama's part", giving him, as the paper put it, a "starring" turn in the finished product.
It has sparked claims of propaganda on the eve of the election. "Seal Team Six... isn't just meant to remind voters of the Bin Laden raid, it's an expensive infomercial for Obama 2012," said the conservative online magazine FrontPageMag.
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
People are criticising Fifa World Cup sponsors with corrupt corporate logos
Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
University league tables: Best universities for teaching standards rank Oxford, Cambridge and Coventry among top 20
Fifa corruption live: Sebb Blatter warns 'more bad news may follow' as he clings to power
Skull found in Spain could be the world's first-ever murder victim
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...