The Pentagon is attempting to influence filmmakers and future movies depicting the U.S. conflict in Iraq. Vietnam-era war movies like "Apocalypse Now" and "Born on the Fourth of July" helped stereotype Vietnam veterans as crazy or psychologically damaged. To prevent this from happening again, the U.S. Army has assigned a lieutenant colonel to an office in Los Angeles, given him the job of reviewing movie scripts about the Iraq conflict and deciding which ones will get military assistance in their making. If the Army approves a script, it means the filmmaker can gain valuable access to bases, ships, planes, tanks and Humvees, and receive advice from the military in making the movie. In exchange for advice and access to these props, though, the filmmaker must agree to address any "problems" the Pentagon finds with their script. If the filmmaker refuses, the Pentagon can pull its offer. Some filmmakers view the Pentagon's script advice as a subtle form of censorship or an attempt to spin the war. Filmmaker Paul Haggis, who wrote and directed the Iraq war movie "In the Valley of Elah," said he believes the Army is not interested in telling honest stories about soldiers or the war. "They are trying to put the best spin on what they are doing," he said. "Of course they want to publicize what is good. But that doesn't mean that it is true."
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