Sunday, September 10, 2006

Contrasting views on "Path" screenwriter from the city where he went to high school

Doug Moe is a columnist for the liberal Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin. To Moe, Cyrus Nowrasteh is a great guy and one of his oldest friends. He comments on his friend's docudrama, "The Path to 9/11."
I have seen only the movie's first 10 or so minutes (beginning on the morning of the attacks, it then flashes back to explain how we got there), but regular readers of this space know that Cyrus is one of my oldest friends, dating back to seventh grade at what was then Van Hise Junior High School. I can remember him making a war movie in a little park near the school using a hand-held camera, toy soldiers and firecrackers.

Nowrasteh's politics are to the right of mine, but I would remind people he earlier wrote and directed "The Day Reagan Was Shot," a Showtime movie about the aftermath of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan. That film portrayed the subsequent chaos in the Republican Reagan administration to both scary and comic effect.
Paul Soglin is the former liberal mayor of Madion who now keeps up a running commentary on local, state and national politics -- and anything else that catches his eye -- at his blog, Waxing America. In his post about Nowrasteh, Soglin accuses the filmmaker of using "docudrama" techniques to touch up his biography, positioning himself as a victim of Islamic fundamentalists when he's not.
Cyrus, since you were born in Boulder, and graduated from Madison West High School in 1974 your family must have arrived in the U.S. prior to 1956. Come on, it looks good in your bio, but if your family fled an oppressive Iran any time prior to the mid 1970's, it was fear of the right wing autocratic rule of the Shah, not the Islamic fundamentalists.

Maybe it was the extended family that fled Iran in the 1970's. In either case, nothing like adding a little docudrama, merging individuals, and stretching the truth in the name of your art.
As a Madisonian who followed Nowrasteh's career with interest, I always heard the story about his family fleeing the ayatollahs. Never stopped to think that they didn't take power until 1979, years after the aspiring filmmaker graduated from high school here in Madison. That's the thing about repeating lies and distortions. It messes with people's heads.

Sound familiar?

1 comment:

Sharoney said...

But Madison Guy, it's HARD WORK keeping track of so many lies.

The only reason Chimpy has been able to do it so well is because that's Rove's full-time job, that and having a wireless earpiece in place for each live press conference and debate.