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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)


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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