Scenes From China's New Propaganda Clip May Look Familiar

Observers say nation's air force lifted scenes from 'The Hurt Locker,' 'The Rock'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2020 12:33 PM CDT
China Uses Hurt Locker Footage in Military Propaganda Film
This May 19, 2016, file photo shows Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.   (Rick Cruz/The Pacific Daily via AP, File)

A new Hollywood-style video from China's armed forces showing a simulation of an attack on a US military base maybe got a little too Hollywood. Entitled "The god of war H-6K goes on the attack!," the two-minute-plus footage released on Chinese social media by the People's Liberation Army's air force shows nuke-capable H-6 bombers ambushing what appears to be Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, Reuters reports. "We are the defenders of the motherland's aerial security," the air force declared in its description accompanying the video. "We have the confidence and ability to always defend the security of the motherland's skies." They also apparently have no qualms about possible copyright violations: Per the South China Morning Post, it looks like scenes from the 2008 film The Hurt Locker, as well as from 1996's The Rock, were incorporated into the video.

A source said to be close to the Chinese military explains it's not unusual for the armed forces' PR staff to lift clips from major studio productions, noting, "Almost all of the officers in the department grew up watching Hollywood movies, so in their minds, American war films have the coolest images." The video is likely a warning shot to let the US know that "even supposedly safe, rearward positions such as Guam may come under threat when conflicts over regional flashpoints, be it Taiwan or South China Sea, erupt," an expert at Singapore's Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies tells Reuters. As for a potential intellectual-property dustup over the Hurt Locker and Rock footage, the source who spoke to the SCMP doesn't think anything will come of it, "as only a few seconds of footage was used and the PLA film is not for commercial release." (More China stories.)

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