Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gibson, "Apocalypto," and violence

Here is Thomas Hibbs (Baylor), writing about the possibilities for a collaboration between Mel Gibson ("Apocalypto") and M. Night Shyamalan ("Signs").  And, here is Rod Dreher, commenting on the former:

. . .  I can't think of a film that is at once so violent and such a protest against violence. For me, the key moments of "Apocalypto" come atop that high altar, when the high priest is ripping the hearts out of and decapitating prisoners, while the bored royal family looks on. They've seen it all before. This is their "normal." Their ho-hum, anesthetized reaction to the unbelievable sadism they're inflicting on human beings is more shocking than any disembowelment. When I saw that, I thought about the concentration camp workers who went about their satanic jobs, then went home to their wife and kids and slept peacefully. And I thought about our ancestors who, not terribly long ago, enslaved Africans and treated them with similar barbarism, and yet were quite civilized. And I thought about how we today are even more civilized, yet we tolerate this -- and indeed quite a few Americans see this as a virtual sacrament. The Mayans in the "Apocalypto" grotesquely sacrificed innocent humans so that they could live as they wished to live; so do we, in our way. I came away from "Apocalypto" unsettled, convinced in an unfamiliar way that there is something deeply, deeply wrong with us humans. We are born to trouble and violence, and will to power.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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