Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Assassins and Psychopaths

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Assassins and Psychopaths

Article excerpt

THREE OF THE best films of the year arrived in early fall and will hopefully still be around to experience by the time you read this. Each deserves to be seen on a big screen- I've long believed that the experience of watching films in a cinema compares with home viewing the same way that visiting the pyramids compares with seeing a mummy in a museum. But whether or not you see these in a cinema, please do see them.

Samsara, Looper, and Seven Psychopaths open up worlds of possibil ity where the varietiesofhuman experience are respected, the myth of the cool assassin is reVised, and the morality of violent fiction is stared in the face, interrogated, and not let go without an attempt at a convinc, inganswer.

Samsara, the sequel to 1992's Baraka, travels the world seeking examples of our diversity and unity: dancers and warriors and builders and menders, broken things and healed things. innocent and wounded. It contains some of the most extraordinary imagery you've ever seen, in tune with vast musical cultures, reimagining our view of what we, a little lower than the angels, are and can be, and, when we're not conscious of our power, the damage we can do.

The protagonist of Looper embodies just such a consciousness-a hipster assassin in a dystopian world, where hired guns kill people sent back from the fu ture, knowing that eventually that their target will be their own self. The willingness to kill others is, at least arguably, intimately rdated to a low view of humanity-for some, taking someone else's life is already on a continuum with a kind of suicide. …

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