First, consider "The Interpreter." It's a big-budget suspense thriller, a movie that examines that august body of international concord, the United Nations, and how it deals with a terrorist threat. In real life, the answer would be "lunch." But since the film contains large portions of Sean Penn, one of the more cringe-inducing intellectual exhibitionists of the thespian profession, you know you're in for it.
The movie's terrorists blow up a bus in New York City. Their origin? The fictional African nation of Matobo. The producers didn't even have the nerve to use a faux Central Asian province, like Inventistan. No, they go to that hotbed of global insecurity, Matobo.
"We didn't want to encumber the film in politics in any way," Kevin Misher, the producer, told The Wall Street Journal.
Perhaps he means this: For some, the very act of mentioning Islamist terrorism is a political act, since it plays into the Bushitler/RoveCo Hate Axis scheme to shove McDonald's hamburgers down everyone's falafel hole. We can make movies about brave soldiers fighting Islamist extremists when Hillary's in power -- until then, ixnay on the Uslimsmay.
Hence this strange silence. It's like making a movie at the height of the civil rights era about the horrible injustices suffered by redheads. Originally, the terrorists of "The Interpreter" were from the Middle East. Likewise the terrorists who set off a nuclear bomb in "The Sum of All Fears"; they were changed to neo-Nazis. It's a miracle the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor" didn't show Hawaii attacked by militia members outraged over Waco.