Really? The “really bad guys” are Albanians?

From “Wag the Dog”:
Ames: Why Albania?
Brean: Why not?
Ames: What have they done to us?
Brian: What have they done FOR us? What do you know about them?
Ames: Nothing.
Brean: See? They keep to themselves. Shifty. Untrustable.

Thanks to my friend Ann, who sent me the following excerpt from John Anderson’s April 30th Wall St. Journal review of the new movie “Hyena.” and to my other friend Anne for the excerpt (above) of dialog from “Wag the Dog.”  My only comment is that Albania has plenty enough problems without needing a “visible anti-defamation league”!

“[Gerard Johnson’s] film also raises an issue any crime-thriller fan has probably been wondering about. In ‘Hyena,’ the bad guys are really the cops, but the really bad guys are Albanians, who traffic in drugs and humans, one of whom they dismember in a bathtub. Coincidentally or not, the recent Liam Neeson feature ‘Run All Night’ involved Albanian drug dealers. In ‘Taken,’ the sex-slavers who abducted the daughter of Bryan Mills (Mr. Neeson) were Albanian. So were the bad guys who went after Bryan’s whole family in ‘Taken 2.’  In recent Bond efforts, notably ‘Casino Royale,’ the recurring bad guy played by Mads Mikkelsen (‘Le Chiffre’) comes from Albania, and Lord Voldemort, of all people, takes refuge there in the Harry Potter books.

Now we have ‘Hyena,’ which paints Albanians with a particularly black brush. Is it just Albania’s turn? Russians were all the rage in the ’60s and ’70s, Arabs had their moment in the ’80s, ex-Yugoslavs in the ’90s. Albanians are probably popular now because fewer people know much about them, they sound exotic, and they don’t have a very visible anti-defamation league working on their behalf. The woman who answered the phone at the Albanian consulate in Manhattan said, ‘There’s no one here,’ in response to a request for official comment. There was no response to our email.”

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