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The Cynicism of the Modern Disaster Film

It is difficult to dispute the word “hero.” The title is thrown around a lot, to the point where Stephen Colbert’s character from “The Colbert Report” would jokingly use it to describe anyone with whom he happened to agree. Its ubiquity is mostly outdated, but there is one area where “real heroes” are still undisputed, and that’s a subgenre of the movies. Films like “Deepwater Horizon,” which opened last week, mix docudrama and disaster spectacle in order to form a modern passion play that instruct us whom we should celebrate, and whom we should admonish.
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