Story by: Jack Foley
A PORTRAIT of a post-9/11 America gripped by paranoia and poverty,
as depicted by film-maker, Wim Wenders, played to a packed audience
at the Venice Film Festival in the days leading up to the third
anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Land of Plenty chronicles the efforts of a troubled Vietnam vet
to protect the US in the wake of the attacks, as well as focusing
on a young religious missionary, who works in the slums of LA.
The movie is reportedly seen through the eyes of both characters,
and is said to be filled with the sounds of right-wing radio talk
shows hailing the efforts of President, George W Bush, to counter
terrorism, while the country, itself, is peopled by the homeless
Despite being controversial, and the latest in a long line of
approaching films and televison movies/series to take a look at
America, post-9/11, the German director insists that Land of Plenty
is not anti-American, but rather it is a film that attempts to
deal with the confusion, pain and paranoia that still surrounds
However, in an interview with an
Italian newspaper, Wenders did go on to make a veiled attack on
Bush, accusing him of labelling anyone who doesn't agree with
his policies as being anti-US.
The movie, however, seeks to address such pre-conceived notions
and eventually finds its two lead characters working together
to investigate the drive-by shooting of a homeless Middle Eastern,
which they both witnessed, and which compels them to put their
faith and patriotism to the test.
Land of Plenty is one of 22 films competing for the prestigious
Golden Lion award at the Venice showpiece event, which ends on
And it was largely applauded at the preview screening on the
Lido, even though some of the one-dimensional characters and plot
failed to convince some critics.
Its screening followed that of The
Hamburg Cell, another 9/11-based movie, which follows the
movements of the hijackers from the German based al Qaeda group
involved in the US attacks, and which has since been screened
on Channel 4 after receiving its world premiere at the Edinburgh
In defending Land of Plenty against the criticisms, however,
Wenders, who has previously directed the acclaimed movies, The
Buena Vista Social Club and Wings of Desire, said that he hoped
the film would help to ensure that 'truth is not an altogether
lost notion in today’s political and social realities -
even in America, even in 2004'.