Hollywood Goes Global
Editorial Section --
Published March 3, 2006
Hollywood goes global
international IQ test
By Allan E. Goodman,
president of the New York-based Institute of International
More Americans watch the
Oscars than the TV evening news. Even if that were not the case,
the networks devote less than five minutes per night to world
events, so the average adult American learns little about the
world from newscasts. Just 1 in 5 Americans has a passport, and
87 percent of college-educated adults in this nation cannot
locate Iraq on a map; 65 percent can't find France. Fewer than 1
percent of American college students study abroad.
To compete in the global
marketplace and to continue to lead in meeting the world's
challenges, Americans need to raise their international IQ.
Perhaps as we watch the
Academy Awards show Sunday, we might think about movies' power
to take us to distant places and into issues that are shaping
our world. While our attention for the news may be limited,
Americans seem to have an insatiable appetite for movies, and
fortunately there are numerous foreign themes in this year's
most popular films. So, in addition to guessing which movie will
earn Best Picture honors, we can test ourselves in the first
Hollywood Goes Global quiz:
George Clooney's "Syriana" is a political thriller
set in an unnamed oil-producing Arabian Gulf country. Can you
name the five countries that supply the largest amount of oil to
the United States?
The diplomat-husband (Ralph Fiennes) in "The
Constant Gardener" is assigned to what country? Can you find it
on a map?
What was the name of the principal terrorist
organization active when the events depicted in "Munich" took
place and with whom Black September was affiliated? Who was its
Before Edward R. Murrow worked for CBS in the events
depicted in "Good Night and Good Luck," where did he work? And
what agency of government was he appointed to head when he left
"Why We Fight" contains video of the warning of
President Dwight Eisenhower about how our foreign involvements
often entangle the U.S. in military conflicts. What other U.S.
president warned about the same thing? What else did he and
Eisenhower have in common?
"Memoirs of a Geisha" is filmed in the ancient
capital of Japan. What makes this city unique in the history of
World War II?
"The New World" is about the first immigrants to
America. How many immigrants does the U.S. currently get on a
"Downfall" is about the last days of Hitler. What
two elected heads of state today deny that the Holocaust
happened? What two European political party leaders have
expressed similar doubts?
Academy Award winners Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts,
Katharine Hepburn and Sir Laurence Olivier all practice (or did)
the exercise method Pilates. Why was it developed?
"The Brothers Grimm" featured in the movie wrote
what was to become the most popular book ever published in
Germany. How were the brothers' political views received?
- - -
Canada is the leading supplier of oil to the U.S.,
followed by Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Nigeria.
Kenya. It is between Uganda and Somalia.
Palestine Liberation Organization. Yasser Arafat.
Institute of International Education, where he
spearheaded the Emergency Committee to rescue displaced scholars
before World War II; United States Information Agency.
George Washington; they were both commanding
generals before being elected president.
Kyoto was never bombed in order to preserve the
One every 31 seconds; it's probably twice that if
illegal immigrants are included.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (president of Iran) and Mahmoud
Abbas (president of the Palestinian National Authority).
Jean-Marie Le Pen (France's National Front) and Joerg Haider
(Austria's Freedom Party).
Interned as an "enemy alien" in England during World
War I, Joseph Pilates developed his famous exercises, using the
springs of hospital beds, to strengthen fellow internees and
rehabilitate victims of the 1918 flu pandemic.
The brothers lost their university jobs because
they objected to the breach of the constitution by the king of
Hanover, who sought to provide security and peace at the expense
of civil rights.