Monday, October 31, 2011

The elusive diplomat in the popular mind

Funny, but this usually isn't what I picture when I think of diplomats.

In case you're wondering what inspired this topic, it all started last week. I've been watching mildly scary movies in the run up to Halloween. Last night I saw The Omen (the 2006 version, which was accidental, but it was scary enough) and I had another run in with Movie Diplomats. I've been lazily collecting diplomat stories from a variety of media, so it was a pleasant surprise. I should really write a blog post about them all some day. German diplomat?

Until that day however, these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head:
#1The Omen - The diplomats are the adoptive parents of the antichrist, and judging from their house, multi-billionaires. They're nice and smart and all that, but I can't help thinking that the career arc seems a bit far-fetched.
#2 The Constant Gardener - The diplomats are good, brave people who genuinely care about the country they live in. They get lots of points for representing.
#3 Julie and Julia - Julia Child.* Did you know that? She was also in the OSS in Sri Lanka. We have a lot in common.
#4 Dumbarton Oaks - If you remember, this is a fabulous estate in Georgetown owned by uberwealthy diplomat. (I realize this doesn't precisely count as popular culture, but just go with me here.)
#5 King Leopold's Ghost - The diplomat is the good guy who uncovers the truth about the Belgian Congo. He also gets lots of points for representing.
#6 The Bourne movie (forget which one) - This diplomat gets taken out by Matt Damon. No points for that.
#7 The Perfect Spy - Magnus Pym is a British diplomat and Soviet Spy. Again, no points.

Assigned to the Maldives, clearly.

*Before you write to correct me - I believe that the spouse of a diplomat totally counts as a diplomat as well, because he/she faces just as many hardships and is held to the same high standard as the person getting the paycheck. So Julia Child - totally a diplomat.
I need to see this. It seems very realistic, just judging from the cover.

Someday I'm sure I'll compile the definitive book on diplomats in popular culture but I need a few more examples first. If you have any good ones that I've forgotten let me know! Japanese diplomats. Way more attractive than American ones.

1 comment:

  1. Here are some more:
    "Rules of Engagement" - Ben Kingsley plays the Ambassador.
    "Midnight Express" - A U.S. Consular Officer makes a few appearances. Shouldn't be viewed as a realistic depiction of Turkey but some aspects could happen in any country with drug smugglers.