Congress will investigate if CIA has given unauthorized access to classified material to the creators of the film Zero Dark Thirty, concerning torture practices used to extract information. (1) Genuine art is rare. Most of the times, art serves the ones in power. And once more, films of Holywood try to make us used to things like violence, torture, violations of human rights. And they will succeed. Unless we deliberately choose NOT to see this movie.
It may not sound as philosophy, but it is. And of the most important kind: the obvious is always easy to forget.
Yes. TORTURE IS NOT GOOD!
And watching is the first step towards accepting it.
Ghandhi said it elonquently:
Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
So in other words refusing to watch a carefully crafted, thoughtful movie that portrays torture within a historical context somehow makes torture less likely to occur? Nonsense. It’s a film about a past event. To ignore the whole of what actually happened turns a film toward the kind of sanitized patriotic propaganda we got from Hollywood during and after WW2 – all glory and no upsetting, realistic portrayals of the devastation combat causes to minds and bodies. That’s exactly how people get to be holocaust deniers. They never look at the evidence directly.
This film isn’t about torture, not nearly as much as a film like “The Passion of the Christ” is. It’s responsible storytelling. Some realities are harder to face than others, though. Sure, if you can’t handle it, don’t watch. But violence is in our genes, because we are animals. Movies reflect what we already do. They don’t cause our behavior.
I see your point. However this is what we also thought about all these movies with violence and guns. And now we are seeing the results of that. The movie implies a positive side of torture – i.e. the “saving of american lives” as we are so told over and over again in movies lately. So it is not so “innocent”. Being carefully crafted is just an indication of how dangerous it can be. There are good movies without such implications. Don’t these suffice? Do we really need as civilization Lethal Weapon 1, Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Lethal Weapon 4, Lethal Weapon 5, Lethal Weapon 6, Lethal Weapon 7, Lethal Weapon 8, Lethal Weapon 9, Lethal Weapon 10, Lethal Weapon 11, Lethal Weapon 12 and Lethal Weapon 13? And comparing the passions of Christ with a movie portraying “saving americans by torturing people” is just wrong. How can you see similarities between the two?
Well, you can’t compare a movie about a historical event to one that’s not only fiction, but intentionally designed to produce thrills. The Lethal Weapon films are anti-realistic on purpose. No sane person would believe they portray police solving crimes the way such things happen in life. They are myths, like super-hero movies. And again, they don’t portray violence realistically. I do agree with you that those kinds of movies are of little social value, but I object strongly when you lump them in with Zero Dark Thirty.