Iraq – Stage Trumps Screen in Bengal Tiger?
Americans aren’t going to films about Iraq or the Middle East. Not The Hurt Locker, not Fair Game, not Restrepo.
It might be that audiences can see more dramatic moving pictures about that part of the world on television. Seeing those images involves some effort, since American television loses interest quickly in anything foreign besides the British royal wedding. The reality show that began on the streets of Tunis and spread to Bahrain, Egypt and Libya could face overnight cancellation once Gaddafi throws in the towel.
Or is it just fatigue or indifference to wars in which less 1 % of this country’s families have someone fighting on the ground? Given that all of us are paying so much in taxes for these wars, you might think that the audience would want to see what it’s getting for the why-pay-less price.
Then why are audiences packing in to see Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, the play by Rajiv Joseph that opened on Broadway last Thursday?
The answer is Robin Williams, the comedian who plays a caged tiger who is shot dead by an American soldier assigned to guard the zoo.
As Donald Rumsfeld said, “Stuff happens.” This tiger says a lot more.