The war in Ukraine would be a Hollywood blockbuster if not for capitalist dysfunction. The current writers strike is just one example of moneybags smothering the creativity that is its global cashcow. It is the timeless fable about the goose laying the golden egg. Greedy owners kill the goose to make a quick buck. They end up with nothing but a dead goose.
Star wars was the blockbuster made in 1978. In the movie, evil Darth Vader wanto to take over the galaxy. He kidnaps the lovely Princess Leia & holds her hostage to squash a rebellion against his Galactic Empire. Courageous Luke Skywalker teams up with wise Captain Solo . Together they recruit a lovable bunch of droids for a happy ending when they rescue Leia, help the Rebel Alliance and restore peace to the Galaxy.
The paralells are obvious. Putin considers the new Republics of the former Soviet Union to still be his empire. He kidnaps democracy and holds it hostage until Ukraine’s Zelensky teams with American Captain Biden. Together they recruit lovable allies to fight with them.
The story in Ukraine is somewhere along the timeline between beginning and end. How soon the happy ending comes about depends on how well friendly allies can coordinate efforts.
The largely volunteer Ukrainian army was assembled after the first invasion in 2014. IThe army has suffered severe losses. Volunteers from ally counties have augmented the shrinking numbers but they stay only for so long. The brutality of the assault gets to them and they leave. The Ukrainians fighting for their homeland by now go withou food, boots or equipment on the beseiged front lines where Russians attack. The generous support of allies at a distance simply doesn’t stretch far enough to counter the conscripted meat-grinder numbers of forces conscripted from other former Soviet captives.
After more than a year of savage fighting in the strategic city of Bakhmut, the ruthless mercenary Wagner group announced it was throwing in the towel. The Russian army was sidelining them. The losses weren’t worth the compensation. Instantly an equally ruthless Chechen group agreed to augment Wagner. The battle goes on because the Ukrainian Star Wars story can’t get the traction that a Hollywood blockbuster would get.
Many of the Ukrainian army volunteers returned from overseas jobs to fight for the freedom of their country. Many were Silicon Valley media experts or techies until their country needed them. They have flooded Twitter with footage of the Russian assaults. As of yet, few such videos have made it to Facebook where much of Middle America gathers for news.
Likewise, American coverage of the war in Ukraine comes off as hollow. The news industry is hampered by security and policy concerns that make news sound like the reality show format that America has already tired of. Soldiers can’t be interviewed and interviews with affected civilians within a severely limited timeframe simply don’t cut the mustard. An entire TV crew complete with make-up and scheduling talent makes it hard to convey spontaneous sincerity.
By contrast, the BBC showed up the sparcity of American news coverage in a modest documentary about the war. In consultation with governments, a small crew went along with a front line unit to capture the terror or missiles hitting near a bunker with a force that rocked the camera.
In an age of virtual reality, actual reality packs a real zinger. The Ukraine story contains hundreds of ready-made suplots that can explode into spin-offs and collaterals. Those include the cat and mouse chases of Interpol monitoring -for scams, fraud and black market activity. Moving supplies and equipment through corridors under missile attack is rife with potential for suspense..
Those are all live action stories, not heart-wrenching tear-jerkers. They center on genuine heroes involved in hair-raising action to protect their homeland. They are stories happening all over the world, waiting to be told with Hollywood clout just as soon as someone in America gathers the Ukrainian courage to stop greedy capitalists from killing the goose laying the golden eggs..