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"The Dark Knight Rises", Media Violence, & Social Change

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If movies or other forms of mass entertainment have content that is harmful to society's interests, we're going to have to use sociological arguments to make them change -- and when their profits are going sky-high, it will take an organized effort to be heard. When the Council on American-Islamic Relations campaigned against the title of Alan Ball's film Towelhead (coincidentally, a Warner Independent release), Ball met with representatives in a recorded dialogue, and heard their objections during a panel discussion. This airing of all sides was one of the bonus features on the DVD. It is consciousness-raising like that which we ought to embark on with the entertainment industry about violence.

 

The way media violence often defines the identity of "the other' -- justifying and encouraging racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and imperialism -- merits extensive discussion. It could be a kind of Truth and Reconciliation Commission between the industry and the audience. This process would educate both media-makers and the public in general -- including consumers, parents, and those in the helping professions who treat addictions. It could also put us on the road to eliminate some of the propaganda that makes a segment of the U.S. favor gun proliferation in the first place.

 

Ironically, the entity which knows best how to run respectful, attentive consciousness-raising sessions these days is Occupy. The entertainment industry should try asking them for some pointers.

 


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

Still of the Joker from "The Dark Knight" (2008)




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Here are links to take action for gun control:

Credo Action petition; The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence petition; Mayors Against Illegal Guns website; American Friends campaign for assault weapons ban renewal; Petition by a MoveOn member for assault weapons ban

 

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Jennifer Epps is a peace, social justice, pro-democracy, environmentalist and animal activist in L.A. She has also been a scriptwriter, stage director, actor, puppeteer, and film critic. Her political film reviews are collected at: (more...)
 
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