A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the docudrama Seal Team Six, which tells the story of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, contains lots of violent images, ranging from gun fire and suicide bombings to archival footage of terrorist acts, including 9/11. There's some strong language ("bitch," s--t," "f--k") as well as an image of a woman in her underwear. Smoking and drinking is frequent, too. The movie has been in the news for the producers' decisions to more prominently feature President's Obama's role in the killing of bin Laden, which is seen as a politically motivated move.
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What's the story?
SEAL TEAM SIX is a docudrama about the manhunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden. As CIA Special Activities Division team leader Mr. Guidry (William Fichtner), with the help of dedicated analyst Vivian Hollins (Kathleen Robertson), prepares the Navy SEALS with intelligence gathered by their operatives in Pakistan, a SEALS Lt. Commander (played by Robert Knepper) works with a team of seasoned men, including team captain Stunner (Cam Gigandet), Cherry (Anson Mount), Trench (Freddy Rodriguez), Mule (Alvin "XZBIT" Joiner), and Sauce (Kenneth Miller) to ready them for a mission designed to eliminate America's number-one post-9/11 enemy. While the events unfold, Stunner, Vivian, and Cherry offer their personal thoughts about what happened, the people involved, as well as what drove them to finish the job, through interviews conducted after the mission is over. Throughout it all, footage of President Barack Obama before, during, and after the mission, is shown.
Is it any good?
SEAL Team Six is both violent and dramatic. This controversial film features dramatizations of the various reconnaissance and military operations conducted by the CIA, the Navy SEALS, and other government agencies that teamed together to find, and then kill, Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011. With the help of music, simulated surveillance video, archival news footage, and other dramatic elements, the series attempts to create tension while showing some of the methodical -- and sometimes mundane -- behind-the-scenes events that took place before the actual raid.
Thanks to some last-minute additions of archival footage of President Obama discussing the events, plus the timing of the film's national premiere (two days before the 2012 presidential election), the series feels like a promotional vehicle for the president rather than an objective look at the events that transpired. Nonetheless, the homage it pays to the team of people who worked hard and risked their lives to do something designed to protect the country is still very evident here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ways that real events are dramatized in film and television. What are the differences between a documentary, a docudrama, and a reality show? Do you think that what is featured here is a realistic portrayal of events? What impact does the imagery of the president have on how real the movie seems?
Is it possible to talk about violent events without showing violent images? What impact does showing violence have on the entertainment value of the film and/or TV show? What potential impact can it have on the viewer?
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