On February 22, 1980, the United States Olympic hockey team did the unthinkable.
It was seen as even more miraculous thanks to the Cold War serving as the political backdrop for the Games.
"You don't defend them. You attack them."
Why Close Textual Analysis?
"An interpretive practice, the aim of which is to explain how texts operate to produce meaning, effect persuasion, and activate convictions in public contexts."
Encourages researchers to think about how the form of the message influences the content and vice versa. Places high value on context.
Does "Miracle" foster patriotism, and if so, how?
"Miracle" was released in 2004, during the middle of the War on Terror.
"The event, steeped in drama from start to finish, even led sport media behemoths ESPN and Sports Illustrated to name the victory as the greatest ever in American sport history. Its significance, however lays not simply in the athletic achievement, but in the symbolic dominance of US political and ideological systems. At the height of the Cold War, the victory became a significant component of the ideological soft-war; for the American populace, the event was symbolically imagined to reverse a loss of national self-confidence and global political influence." (Silk, Schultz & Bracey, 2008)
In other words, a large part of the Cold War was an ideological war—one of democracy against Communism, and the War on Terror was arguably very similar. While there absolutely was, and still is, a physical component to the War on Terror, it was also, on a very basic level, a battle between the controlling beliefs of Al Qaeda and related extremist Muslim groups and the freedom of American society. As such, fostering national pride and pride in American ideals was going to be an important facet of the modern war effort, and creating a movie chronicling an American victory in a similar climate would be a perfect platform. And with sport’s ability to bring together groups under a common support, why not use an American victory in a game?