Saw this movie tonight. The cinema about half full with approx. 300 mostly turkish young men and quite many women.
The prime minister of the German federal state of Bavaria today demanded to ban this movie. I don't think he actually saw the movie.
Most German newspapers (e.g. www.spiegel.de) said the film is anti-american, anti-jewish, anti-christian, and is bad because it deepens the existing "culture clash" even more.
I don't agree. Well, of course the movie is one-sided. With a single exception the Americans in the movie are unscrupulous, deadheartened and bloodthirsty. They humiliate people of other countries/cultures/religion, don't care about deaths of innocent civilians, maltreat prisoners, etc. Of course most Americans are not like this, but as we know from the pictures and videos from Abu Ghureib and from several other incidents, most of these things did really happen. Why should it be not allowed to show these things in a movie?
One scene remind me strongly of holocaust movies: captives are transported on a long journey in a container on a truck. One guard says to the other: they might suffocate in the container because there is no fresh air supply. The truck stops, the (American) guard gets off the truck and fires with an automatic gun hundrets of bullet-holes into the container and creates a bloodbath among the captives. Well, if a holocaust movie shows German Nazis committing terrible things, I don't object too. Ok, I don't really know if something like this container incident did really happen in Iraq, but we know that many bad enough things did actually happen.
There are interesting scenes e.g. where a sheikh stops some fanatists from executing an american journalist and confronts them with facts why this has nothing to do with Islam, or another one where he discusses with suicide bombers why their plans are wrong.
This movie can help us understand how many turkish, arabic or muslim people feel and think. It is provocative, one-sided, and mixes historic truth with fiction in a questionable way. However isn't that a good starting point for discussing these issues? Sometimes provocation is necessary to get people start talking. First we need to learn to talk about our own feelings. Then we can talk to each other. It's not very healthy if the political correctness keeps telling us to not talk about what we really think and feel just because it could violate other peoples feelings.