Megan Leavey and the Popular Visual Culture of the War-on-Terror
Drawing upon earlier critiques of what Takacs calls post-9/11 “fictional militainment,” this chapter examines the popular 2017 film Megan Leavey. Cultural responses to the war-on-terror have come, and continue to come, in many forms. They include film, television programs, video games, comic books, graphic novels, memorials, T-shirts, and toys. The perspectives offered range from gung-ho support for military action to scathing criticism of military and political ineptitude. Although their narratives and visual rhetoric are often complex, multilayered, and contradictory, they have been overwhelmingly supportive of military intervention. Yet the film ably demonstrates, first, how the now popular, post-sentimental, post-heroic visual culture of the war-on-terror is different from the popular visual culture of past military conflicts and, secondly, how after 16 years these visual strategies are perpetuated to the point where they are now normalized.
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