Baghdad in California: A staged blast in downtown Los Angeles is filmed for a public service spot against suicide bombing.
A Hollywood studio and a Lebanese production company have produced a $1-million public service ad aimed at discouraging suicide bombings. Their funding came from “an independent, non-governmental group of scholars, non-political people,” according to an exec. (Via Huff Po)
Remember the egg, the frying pan and the message? “This is your brain,” the ominous narrator told us before cracking an egg over the sizzling skillet. “This is your brain on drugs.” Public service announcements have changed a lot since that foreboding culinary lesson. They now include exploding cars, flying Matrix-style stuntmen and exceedingly dire messages like “Don’t Suicide Bomb.” A new, American-made PSA aimed at discouraging these deadly attacks is currently in production. The ad is slated to air as a 60-second spot on Iraqi television this summer.
It’s a tall order considering that post-occupation Iraq is now rife with militant groups and plagued by increasing sectarian violence. In March alone there were an estimated 175 suicide bombings. There?s also the question of just who will be able to see the PSA. The cost of owning a TV is often prohibitive for the average Iraqi, and those who are affluent enough to get Iraq?s state-sponsored programs are not always thrilled by what they?re seeing. Though there is the new, post-Saddam Iraqi Media Network (IMN), its $6-million monthly budget is provided by the United States and many local viewers feel that its positive reports on the U.S.-led war are simply propaganda so they turn to satellite TV instead. Those who are lucky enough to obtain a satellite dish can receive programs from all over the world as well as independent, Arab-run news channels like Al-Jazeera. And will the type of young man drawn to extremist groups be likely to sit around watching TV?