America, at the Movies

From a reader:

Mr. Goldberg,

I have a co-worker who is a 38-year-old Muslim from Niger.  (Trust me, if all Muslims were like him, we’d have no problems.)  He is here on a permanent visa and plans on eventually becoming a citizen.

With some prodding from him, I have taken upon myself the task of assigning him a list of movies he needs to see in order to explain America and its myriad cultures to him.  For starters, I’ve taken the list of AFI’s Top 100 American movies and I plan on culling through that (there’s no point in him seeing Amadeus) to produce a coherent list.

But I’d love it if you could ask your readers…are there some movies that perhaps wouldn’t make a Best Movie list that I should include anyway?  My only criterion is that the film has to delve into a different subculture of American life, either past or present.  Whether or not you like a movie is not relevant.  (For example, as much as I don’t care for it myself, I feel compelled to include Chinatown on the list.)

Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Okay folks, as I’m not going to be around much today, please make suggestions in the comments section.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More