The posterboy of the anti-US alliance, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is not known to be microphone or camera shy. Toss up words like the ‘US’ or ‘nuclear’ and he will go ballistic before you can say ‘Ahmadinejad’. But sadly he has proved to be a big letdown for ringside critics like us, who immensely enjoy his verbal duels with the leader of the ‘Great Satan’, aka George W. Bush. The reason is a report that says he has turned down a request from filmmaker Oliver Stone (himself considered anti-establishment in the US) to make a documentary on him. His media officer noted sarcastically that American cinema is devoid of culture and art and is only used as a device to suit American ends. He goes on to say that in the last two years, “the US and Britain have made a lot of effort to portray their image of Ahmadinejad, not the one that exists in reality”.
This view about Hollywood may or may not be right, but we think Mr Ahmadinejad is making a mistake. He should have taken the war right into the enemy camp; after all, Stone has made two documentaries about Cuba’s Communist President, Fidel Castro, whom Mr Ahmadinejad considers a friend. Stone, hugely entertaining director that he is, would have definitely put the relation between Mr Bush and Mr Ahmadinejad in a proper (read Iranian) perspective. Meanwhile, we hear another application pending in the President’s office. Michael Moore of Fahrenheit 9/11 and SiCKO fame has also joined the fray.
Instead of shying away from this readymade multiplex publicity and acting like one of those pricey Hollywood stars, the Iranian President should don the greasepaint (read war paint) and face the arc lights. His presidential campaign signature line, ‘It’s possible and we can do it’, can very well serve as the punch line. Don’t worry, Mr President, someone somewhere will not miss the subtext.