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    Arab Portrayal in True Lies

    Number of Pages: 3


    Summary of the research paper:

    A 3 page essay that discusses the way in which Arabs are portrayed in the 1994 action/adventure movie "True Lies." The writer points out the few instances in the movie in which the portrayal of Arabs is even-handed, but argues that, overall, the portrayal is stereotypical due to the requirement for a suitable villain to oppose the hero. Only the film is cited in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: KL9_khtruelies.doc

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    an villain against whom the hero can battle. In this case, the principal villain is the Arab terrorist leader Salim Abu Aziz, and he is portrayed in largely stereotypical fashion,  as a man obsessed with obtaining political goals through the use of terrorist violence directed at civilian populations. However, there are some features of the films portrayal of Arabs that  are more even-handed. For example, one of the partners for hero Harry Tasker is Faisil, an Arab American who is portrayed in several scenes as providing technological backup on  Harrys missions. Intelligent and technologically skilled, Faisil helps defend Harry from the criticism of his boss, Spencer Trilby, by producing evidence that Jamel Khaled transferred $100 million from a terrorist  front bank account, while providing additional intelligence that 4 MIRV nuclear warheads have been stolen. This results in the Harrys main assignment during the film, which is to find out  what happened to the nuclear weapons and thwart a possible terrorist attack. As this suggests, the films portrayal of Arabs characters is not entirely negative, as Faisils defense of  Harry and his support for Harrys missions, providing surveillance, suggests a warm, friendly, collaborative working relationship. Furthermore, this relationship appears to exist not only between Faisil and Harry, but also  between Faisil and Harrys other partner, Albert "Gib" Gibson. Nevertheless, this is an action movie and an action movie must have a stereotypical villain that the hero can defeat.  For True Lies, Salim Abu Aziz supplies this function. He is the leader of a terrorist group known as the Crimson Jihad, and Abu Aziz is so fired with the  bloodlust that he strikes terror in the hearts of his own followers, as well as in those of his enemies. As Abu Aziz is filming his ultimatum to be sent 

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