My Name is Khan, and I am Not a Terrorist

No, not me. My name is not Khan, and I do occasionally terrorize ants . . . I think. You'd have to ask the ants, because I haven't had positive confirmation of this suspicion, but I imagine that seeing a giant like me try to wipe out a few dozen of them with the help of a tissue . . . how could that not be terror?

The reason I titled this post "My Name is Khan, and I am Not a Terrorist," is that I have just returned from seeing the movie My Name is Khan--and, exiting the movie, I greeted the cinema's manager and shook his hands while saying to him, "My Name is Khan, and I am Not a Terrorist."

The movie was liberating to me as a few other movies have been--Django Unchained is a recent one, but there have been a few others that are better--and I believe that it ought to be seen by every American, and every person in the West. I believe it ought to be compulsory viewing, just as the Declaration of Independence and at least one Shakespeare play are compulsory reading for any American student at least by the time he/she passes college.

What can I say? I am proud that an Indian movie star, a great star, made this movie: what it has is originality and big balls. Sorry, there's no other way for me to say it. The only fault I could find with it is that the moment of sadness--following the death of the protagonist's son--is milked for a bit too long.

In no other way is it a Bollywood movie. It is beautifully acted and touching. And essential viewing for this stereotyping age.

Incidentally, I was about to include The Help in the list of movies that affected me deeply. And yes, it did affect me. But I have to yield a bit to the argument in this article from nerve.com: http://www.nerve.com/movies/five-surprisingly-racist-movies-about-civil-rights .  In any case, we are better off thinking about civil rights and slavery than not thinking about it; and we will all be better off if we discarded the smug liberal presumption that our age is somehow superior to and more "civilized" than earlier ages.

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