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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Marathon Movie Misses Boston

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Staff writer Ekelemchi Okemgbo speculates about the upcoming movie “Patriot’s Day” and reflects on Boston pride. 

As a child who grew up in the rain shadow of Washington state, my ideas of what Boston was as a place were made up entirely out of what I saw in the media. I knew about St. Patrick’s Day and the Red Sox and the Patriots. I also knew about shows made by the PBS station filmed in the Boston area such as “Zoom and Fetch!” with Ruff Ruffman. I knew that there were cream pies and accents and that there was Snowmageddon and Harvard.
Living here, the one thing that media doesn’t quite convey is how much Boston cares. Everything that is related to Boston in any way is taken extremely personally, from the entire city feeling entitled to an Academy Award when “Spotlight” won Best Picture, to NFL fans suing the League for distress over lost NFL draft picks. While Philadelphia is the “City of Brotherly Love,” Boston may be the city of “Say That About My City to My Face, Why Don’t Yah” or the city of “You Wish You Cared as Much as We Do.”
So when residents of Watertown convinced the makers of the upcoming film “Patriots Day” that they should not use the actual site where the Boston bomber was captured for their film, I honestly expected the rest of the city to heap criticism of the film, a project that seems destined to be a hackneyed mess made to capitalize on the pain and suffering of the city. Instead, the public remained silent, and the film shot pre-bombing scenes during the actual marathon this year.
While “Boston Strong” was a polarizing campaign, the stickers remain all over the city, a silent reminder of the shared trauma of that event. And while I’m sure that not all Boston residents think that a film this close to a tragedy is inappropriate, I’m confident that they think something about it. Instead of a reaction, there’s been a shrug of indifference, an almost-implied cosign, as if the city’s resigned itself to letting the movie happen. Or maybe that’s the city’s rebuttal to an ill-informed project: “We’re behind you, I guess.”
In either case, the living, breathing city that I’ve come to know probably won’t be in that movie. Instead, we’ll be treated to another action flick starring a white guy taking out vaguely ethnic threats. A child like me, watching the film, will take Mark Wahlberg’s face and stick it next to the picture of Tom Brady and the Green Monster and miss exactly what makes the city of Boston great.