A Bundoran-born film-maker who has become a favourite of the US conservative movement has rubbished the award-winning film "Avatar," calling it an "anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-mining rant."
"James Cameron made a beautiful film that is idiotic," said Ann McElhinney, drawing applause and cheers from the audience at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last month. The conference is billed as the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the United States.
The film is beautiful and compelling, she said. "You nearly at the end are hoping that the Americans die," she said. "But it is rubbish. It is unbelievable rubbish."
Calling the "Avatar" director "an idiot," Ann said that he made a film "where mining is evil and living in the rain forest is gorgeous." She had this advice for him: "Burn your passport, and move to the rainforest, and bring your mother there." The CPAC audience cheered and roared with approval.
Ann and her husband, Phelim McAleer from Omagh, last year produced the film, "Not Evil Just Wrong," which rebuts the picture of global warming painted in "An Inconvenient Truth," the Oscar-winning film by Al Gore. They have also produced "Mine Your Own Business" (2006), described on the film's web site as a look "at the dark side of environmentalism."
Ireland's Sunday Independent reported last November that a US poll identified the couple as the most popular conservative speakers after broadcasters Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.
Ann returned the compliment at the conference, after noting she was the only speaker who was not an American. "I'm very sorry I'm not an
American but we're going to work on that one," she said.
In an eight-minute talk, part of a session called "Saving Freedom From the Hoax of Global Warming," Ann went on to criticise US schools for showing the Gore film and for teaching that global warming is man made and the planet is overpopulated, positions that she rejected.
"When I was a big, fat, ugly liberal I used to think that home schoolers were nut jobs," she said. But Ann said that after looking into US education, "you really get it why people take their children out."
There is no proof that the Earth is overpopulated, and genetically modified foods "would feed us all" and solve problems of poverty and hunger, she said.
To sustained applause Ann finished by asking why environmentalists "always talk about too many people but there's never
too many elephants."
The speech can be viewed on the You Tube web site, where it has already been watched more than 10,950 times.