The International

Movie PosterI decided to go see The International, simply because it had a gun battle in the Guggenheim. What could be cooler than that? The movie's poster makes sure that you remember that this is the movie with the gun battle in the Guggenheim, so evidently the advertisers knew what they were doing.

Funny thing, though. What popped into my head each time I saw the title was the Communist anthem. The association didn't make sense to me, so I didn't think much about it.

Then I saw the movie. Minor spoilers. The antagonist of the movie is not only an international bank, but entirely untouchable within the law because it has the major governments in its pocket. The bank has tremendous reach. As the poster says:They control you "They control your money. They control your government. They control your life." The bank can get away with anything and everything, and its power is almost magical - it reminds one of the machines of The Matrix, only this is not an over-the-top technofantasy but is intended to be a depiction of present-day reality. We learn that one of the characters was a hard-line communist, and this is treated within the movie as a Very Good Thing. I do not recall even the slightest hint given during this revelation or at any other point in the movie that being a hard-line communist might be anything less than admirable; on the contrary, to have left the fold is treated as a disgrace.

This is not intended to be a movie review. I only wanted to mention this aspect of the movie. If you want my assessment, it had a substantial gun battle in the Guggenheim, which is what I came to see, so I did not leave the theater feeling cheated.

UPDATE: I've been trying to find someone who understood the signs the same way I did, and sure enough, somebody did.

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They control your money.

They control your money. They control your government. They control your life.

Are they Jews? It's really hard to tell the difference between antisemitic propaganda and left-wing propaganda when the referents of the pronouns aren't spelled out.

No but

Are they Jews?

SPOILERS

No, they do not seem to be Jews (the head villain is named Skarssen and the actor portraying him is Danish and looks it), but curiously, as a minor subplot the bank is plotting to seriously screw over the enemies of Israel, and the hero's actions, if he is successful, will thwart that plot.

Banking and Jewish Conspiracies

The funny thing is that fractional reserve banking is behind much of our economic troubles and as a side effect influences international conflicts. I'm sure it would have been much harder for FDR to get us involved in WWII had it not been for the economic conditions. Also funding wars has been a motivation for some of the worst interventions in the banking system, either as causes or effects.

The fact is that Jews were historically associated with banking in the west due to restrictions on Christians and Muslims (usury considered a sin) they filled the vacuum.

The fractional reserve banking however is a "open conspiracy" and therefore not a true conspiracy. So the association of Jews with banking and it's implications for economics and war does not require a "Jewish conspiracy" at all.

It does however make them look guilty as hell if you are of that bent. Especially in the past when the field was not open to non-Jews.

First of all, you know about

First of all, you know about the BCCI right ? (which clearly has nothing to do with the ICCB in the movie).

I've always been fascinated by the BCCI, there is so much to the story, and the anarcho-capitalistic perspective I have makes it all the more interesting.

When I first saw the trailer I was overexcited to see they had made a movie out of it. Sure, I knew it was going to be one sided, but I had some hope. After all Lord of War had a nice balance to it... I was hoping for a mix of Lord of War and The Firm. A tight thriller exposing the workings of the bank, etc. The potential for a movie about the BCCI is huge. Or even a show.

Instead I saw a James Bonds ersatz, with the bank as a merely convenient all powerful villain.

Yes, the shooting scene in the Guggenheim is great, and I think it's worth the ticket price to see that scene, but overall I was extremely disappointed.

As for your comments, yes, the line to the guy from the Stasi "you now serve what you hated blah blah" shocked me as well, but I think I remember it was made clear that the guy's always been a villain. I saw more moral relativism here than an apology of communism.

The movie is poor, the end is a common movie trope, it sucked.

On a positive note, what the Italian politician / weapon manufacturer said was not totally stupid, as opposed to most of what's said in the movie.