First of all, the British Airways is not in the league of airlines such as Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific. Many of its intercontinental planes are old and unkempt; monitors are only bit bigger than a pack of cigarettes, and the selection of films thoroughly pathetic for a ‘global carrier’ – just a mainstream diet of Hollywood and British blockbusters.
While almost all first-rate airlines like Qatar Airways, Emirates, Thai, Singapore, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, but even KLM, Air France and Lufthansa, are offering cutting-edge films from Iran, China, Russia, Argentina, India and all other corners of the world, British Airways remains arrogantly and unapologetically US/UK-centric. Judging from the selection of its films, who would ever think that Great Britain used to colonize almost half of the world, and to this day is still meddling in the affairs of dozens of countries worldwide?
The BA’s selection of films, TV programs and news could only be described as shockingly dogmatic. That is of course expected from and fitting for the national airline of the country that acts as the chief propaganda producer and supplier for the entire West.
Judging by the selection of the ‘entertainment’ offered on UK and US carriers, it appears that both the UK and US are ‘scared of the world’, consequently trying to ‘protect’ their citizens and guests from ‘dangerous influences’ flowing out of Russia, China, Latin America, Iran and other countries with the best cinema in the world.
On my 12 hour flight in BA’s ‘premium economy’, from Bangkok to London Heathrow, two British films caught my attention: “The Death of Stalin” and “Darkest Hour”.
I watched them both, first amused, then horrified, and by the end simply outraged.
Death of Stalin in one of British Airways’ monitors
The Death of Stalin, directed by Armando Iannucci (a BBC and HBO veteran), is simply a bad movie. BA’s brief introduction of the film is seasoned with the usual vulgar, lowest grade of contemporary British propaganda, which lately is so common in the mainstream UK media and even inside the British Parliament: “the horrors of Soviet Russia”, or the, “horrific insanity of life during the Great Terror”.
Seriously, is this the kind of language one would expect to encounter on the pages of a flagship airline magazine which is promoting a movie?
As for the film, it simply vulgarizes one of the most complex figures of the 20th century, while simultaneously smearing everything about the Soviet Union – which stood and fought, for decades, against Western colonialism and imperialism.
BA magazine and Stalin
It is supposed to be a comedy, or perhaps a parody, but it absolutely doesn’t work; it is not funny at all. And it is clear that the film was made ‘to order’ (who gave the order can only be guessed), precisely during this time when the British regime is on a bizarre offensive, discrediting, attacking and provoking everything Russian and Soviet.
The British anti-Communist and anti-Russian propaganda has always been there, and it has always been effective and toxic. But it has never been brought to such an extreme; to this low and pathetic level.
Perhaps this film is part of those millions of dollars and pounds that both the US and UK regimes have pledged to spend on fighting the truth that, lately, has been pouring out from non-Western media sources.
It is worth noting (and readers can easily check it on the YouTube and elsewhere) that Soviet propaganda and its anti-Western counter-propaganda never sank as low as what is now being produced by the desperate and frustrated Western indoctrinators – Soviet propaganda at least had some artistic style and quality.
Now to the second film that I managed to watch on the tiny screen of my Bangkok to London flight: Darkest Hour (directed by Joe Wright). This is yet another film about Winston Churchill, a man responsible for the terror that the British Empire unleashed in various parts of the world, responsible for the tens of millions of human lives lost as a result of Western colonialism. Here, BA’s synopsis talks about, a “leader at a pivotal point in WWII…”
What discipline, what blindness it takes, to maintain that Winston Churchill was just a ‘war hero’, not also a racist, bigot and a criminal. In British pro-Churchill, nationalist propaganda (including countless films produced on the topic), not a word is uttered about the dark, even monstrous side of the man. Nothing about the gassing of people, about triggering famines that took millions of human lives in India and elsewhere, nothing about the brutality he unleashed in Africa. Not the slightest of hesitation or a sign of soul-searching can be detected!
It is simply unbelievable how indoctrinated, how intellectually obedient the British public has become. And the more it is, the more it actually dares to preach to the entire world, defending and even unceremoniously spreading its ‘values’.
So many films have been made in the West about Churchill and his stand against Nazi Germany. While not even one has ever been produced, even of recent, about Stalin and his monumental effort to mobilize his enormous country, effort that actually saved the world from the monstrous forces of fascism.
Could it all be as a result of the new Cold War unleashed by London and Washington? Or should that war be, perhaps, called the First Ideological World War – a war that could easily bear a subtitle such as: ‘the West against the rest of the Planet’?
To find out, fly British Airways. You will have to endure the tiny and outdated video screens, but at least you will get a glimpse of the latest propaganda ‘art work’ brought to you by the Empire. Enjoy!
This article was originally published on New Eastern Outlook.
Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are his tribute to “The Great October Socialist Revolution” a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.
All images in this article are from the author.