PERSPECTIVErnRestless Nativesrnby Thomas FlemingrnEveryne over the age of thirty has seen the movie Casablancarnseveral times. It is a classic love story, in which beautifulrnwomen turn out to count for less than politics and killingrnGermans takes precedence over both love and marriage. In actuality,rnCasablanca has very little to do with love: the love affair,rntold almost entirely in flashbacks, is a dreamy adolescent fantasyrnthat might have been scripted by hiemingway after he convincedrnhimself that a fat old man was every young girl’s dream.rnLove is not the subject, but politics is, and Casablanca is arnfinely tuned piece of war propaganda featuring a commediarndeir arte cast of stereotypes:rnThe American: embittered over the loss of an innocencernhe can only regain by fighting Nazis, supported by arndemocratic entourage that includes a Negro entertainer,rna Russian bartender, a Spanish ehanteuse, and a Jewishrnwaiter. (If Bogart is Everyman, then Hollywood is Every-rnThe Frenchman: a venal, skirt-chasing cynic who redeemsrnhis nation’s honor by joining the Free French inrntheir mythical stiuggle against the Germans and theirrnVichy collaborators (never mind that most Frenchmenrnwere quite content with a government that got them outrnof the war).rnThe Liberal Idealist: Wlio cares where he comes from orrnwhat he stands for? We only know that he carries thernhopes and dreams of anti-fascist humanity in his suitcase.rnThe German: suave, unscrupulous, and probably a cowardrn—the epitome of the reactionary/fascist order againstrnwhich all good men and true must struggle. Even his occasionalrngood manners are a symptom of the hypocrisy ofrnthe old regimes.rnThe film’s message is conveyed by Humphrey Bogart nearrnthe end, as he renounces Ingrid Bergman: “The problems ofrntwo little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazyrnworld.” For two people, in or out of love, you can substitute anyrnnation, religion, gender, social class, profession, or tradition; becausernto make distinctions, keep a faith, or maintain a traditionrnis undemocratic, unprogressive, and—in a word—fascist. Thernfilm was made years before virility per se became stigmatized asrnfascist, but no one, in my opinion, who would give up IngridrnBergman for the sake of a propaganda slogan can be quite thernman that Rick pretends to be.rnCasablanca went into production as America was gearing uprnfor war and isolationism was being redefined as treason. Rick,rnbefore his conversion, watches impassively as Peter Lorre isrndragged off to be executed. Wlien one of the pations criticizesrnhis nonchalance. Rick condenses his personal code into onernsentence: “I don’t stick my neck out for anybody.” SidneyrnGreenstreet is more diplomatic: “In this world today, isolationismrnis not a practical policy.”rnIntervention meant an alliance with Stalin, which meant inrnturn that there was to be no enemy to the left. American liberalsrnand leftists in and out of government were justifying theirrnpraise of the mass-murdering Stalin by pretending that he wasrnlO/CHRONICLESrnrnrn