Oh yeah, it's just entertainment.
And they cheered, some small group of young people across the aisle. It was a light turnout, second run, cheap seats, mostly empty.
I'm considering a study of the use of torture by protagonists, by supposedly "good guys" in Hollywood "entertainment product." This was, and is, actually a theme that runs through
Hell of a Deal, my own novel. The selling of torture is one of the most crucial issues of our time. Polls show that significant percentages of people now accept this abhorrent, illegal and immoral practice after so much repeated conditioning in the news and on their screens. Torture is pervasive, and yet has been rightly condemned as barbarism for centuries. Our own Constitution forbids "cruel and unusual punishment," and always has. Perhaps the founders had significantly more wisdom than your average contemporary couch potato.
One film that stick with me on this torture issue is the first Charlie's Angels movie(2000). Such an unlikely place to find a pro-torture message. This film is a favorite of little girls everywhere. My own daughter watched it repeatedly when she was 11 or 12, and it is a lighthearted romp. But there's that one moment they just had to include" f*cking Hollywood.
At one point in the middle of the Charlie's Angels film an unnamed thug fights with Cameron Diaz ("Natalie"), and she quickly kicks his ass. Then she proceeds to torture him for information by grinding her boot into his throat. That's the moment the film crosses the line from justifiable to morally questionable. In my view it's flatly immoral by its matter of fact unquestioned acceptance and use of torture when convenient by one of the "angels." This scene throws the entire film, and the people behind it and responsible for it, into question. In what circle is torture considered another tool of the trade? At what dinner parties do we stomp on people's throats until they tell us the correct responses? Why is this content included in a film for young people, who are to idolize and identify with these women?
In an overwhelmingly fascist culture, it's just entertainment. Who do we torture and kill next, Hollywood? Can't wait to buy my ticket.
JOE GIAMBRONE posts this crap at The Political Film Blog.