1.07.2013

The Good Shepherd (2006)

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The Good Shepherd is an interesting movie from many, many NA angles.  First of all, it's a fictionalized telling of the birth of the CIA and so it stands as Hollywood's entry as the official version of how the CIA was born (in much the same way Zero Dark Thirty is the official Hollywood version of the hunt/killing of Osama Bin Laden).

From a No Agenda perspective, I find the film to be endlessly fascinating.  On one hand, it has major Hollywood stars who are notorious for their Democrat/progressive political activism (Robert DeNiro, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Alec Baldwin), so you have to keep that in mind when watching this film.  How would staunch Democrat supporters want the CIA to be portrayed?  Is the war between Obama and the CIA new or is that part of Democrat party politics?

On the other hand, there are scenes in the film that show the inner workings of the Yale University secret society Skull and Bones as a recruitment tool for the United States intelligence community.  There is even a scene with Joe Pesci (who came out of retirement for the part) playing a mob boss who is meeting with top CIA officials about the "Castro situation".

On yet a third hand, the CIA itself has publicly said the films fails in all of its attempts to tell the story of the founding of the organisation.  Or is that just their cover story.  From Wikipedia:

"A film can take a strictly documentary approach .. If that's the standard, then anyone with historical sense is going to dislike the liberties The Good Shepherd takes. If one approaches the film as a work of art, one must still ask if there is truth in the story-telling. Does it convey the sense of the time: the atmosphere, the motivations, the tone, and the challenges? I think we all agree that the film fails that test as well. It fails because it inserts themes we know from our studies of the period were not there: the overarching economic interest, the WASP mafia dominance, the cynicism, the dark perspective."

Here is what the CIA has to say about the film, in more detail.

Anyway, it's worth a watch.  Here's the trailer:


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