Syriana is a rarity in the land of Hollywood fluff and schlock; a political thriller that revolves around plot and character, not car chases and explosions. The movie pushes the boundary of mainstream moviemaking, with no clear good guys, no easy answers and no happy ending. But for all its complexity, does the story fall back on liberal establishment narratives of “blowback” and “corruption”? In this edition of the Film, Literature and the New World Order series, we examine the roots of Syriana in the experiences of ex-CIA agent Bob Baer, and unpack this sophisticated example of second order propaganda.
Next month: The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
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