Michael Bay's Benghazi Movie Already Coming Under Fire For Treatment Of Libyans

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Director Michael Bay doesn't exactly have a highly respected track record when it comes to creating thoughtful, nuanced movies about wartime violence. (See: Pearl Harbor.)

But his latest movie, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi — which doesn't arrive in theaters until January 2016 — is already coming under fire. Critics of the film say it simplifies the bombing of a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya down to a narrative about the singlehanded triumph of American heroes.

Some Libyans are understandably furious about what looks to be a one-sided portrait of how a six-man team fought to defend the American embassy, asserting that Bay's film completely ignores the fact that the American soldiers were not alone in their fight to contain and neutralize the violence.

A representative for Libya's foreign ministry, Salah Belnaba, added his voice to a chorus of bloggers and social media users, saying that the film makes the Libyan people out to be "fanatical and ignorant."

Incidentally, today marks the start of the Benghazi hearings, which started with Hillary Clinton's testimony. If Bay really wanted to make a movie about what happened in Libya on September 11, 2012, perhaps he should have waited for a better understanding of the day's events to unfold.

Instead, he's created another film celebrating American heroics on foreign soil, without a nod to the fact that there might be a more circumspect, inclusive, and honest narrative still coming to light. Watch the trailer for the film, below.
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