I am writing a term paper for a political theory class on the topic of intolerance in film.  I am intending to write about how film can teach viewers about intolerance, either critiquing or promoting intolerance, specifically intolerance stemming from a religious POV.  I need to twiddle it down to one or two specific instances of intolerance (I am thinking misogyny and/or promotion of violence to "others") and I am looking for film ideas to write about.

I need to specifically focus on the use of images in the films - things like the book burning scene (and subsequent mural painting) in the film Pleasantville

To give you an idea of some of the films I was considering, I was thinking of using two or more of the following:

Jesus Camp (almost definitely choosing this one)
Fight Club (Tyler Durden as christ figure, project mayhem = xtian mob mentality)
Antichrist (women portrayed as evil, child sacrifice, reference to garden of eden/original sin)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (references to many gods)
The Life of Brian (comical satire mocking images of xtianity)
The Golden Compass (magisterium = catholic church, children being ruined, misogyny again)
The Wrestler (misogyny, prodigal son-esque fall from grace tale, xtian tattoos)
American Beauty (misogyny again, homophobia, adultery, statutory rape, religious undertones)
Se7en (seven deadly sins represented visually)
Legend (darkness = idea of the devil that xtians teach their kids - not a true biblical ref, though)
The Apostle (one man's fall from grace, misogyny, adultery)
The Prophecy (evil angel, good vs evil, strong xtian imagery)
A Serious Man (haven't seen it yet, just know it revolves around judaism)


Any suggestions (especially if you can hint to me why you are suggestion it) would be greatly appreciated.

Sehr dank!


Tags: christianity, film, intolerance, politics

Views: 21

Replies to This Discussion

Well, I know some gay ones. There is a documentary called Jihad for Love which is about gay Muslims and the persecution they experience. Forward to about 1:30.



There is another film called Oranges are not the Only Fruit, that takes place maybe 1960s England, and revolves around a young lesbian and her religious zealot mother. They tie her down and pray over her for days. Forward to 2:00.



There is a 1961 Brirtish film called Victim, in which someone is stalking and blackmailing gay men by threatening to out them. Forward to about 1:50.



There is also the 1961 lesbian persecution movie, The Children's Hour, but I've not seen that one. I've seen more, I'm sure, but this is all I can recall at the present moment.
Oh, there is also a similar 1919 gay persecution film from Germany, Different From the Others.




Of course, there are also lots of Nazi ones, too, like Bent. But that is not specifically religious. The film about Quinten Crisp will also have some religious intolerance in it, I'm sure: The Naked Civil Servant.


I really like the idea of Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, especially because I will likely focus on misogyny, wherein homophobia shares common ground, and that film seems to tackle both topics while focusing, bluntly, on religion as well.

I really appreciate your input. If you think of any others, feel free to add more.

BTW, if you haven't seen Lars von Trier's Antichrist, and you don't have a weak stomach, you should check it out. Very visually stunning - and a very interesting, deep religious base. It seems to me to be largely about original sin, women's folly, and the deep guilt woven into the female psyche over centuries of xtian assaults on them.
I probably would suggest not choosing A Serious Man. While it frames itself with Judaism and even starts with a Yiddish-esque folk tale it takes the Job story and presents it in a world without god. It's more of an exercise stripping a bible story of theistic meaning rather than presenting a story with religious undertones. It would make more sense if you were writing about deconstructing Judaism but not so much looking at (in)tolerance from a religious perspective.

I heartily endorse Life of Brian. Lots of subtext and historical context.
Thanks for the info. I won't waste my time on it. I really appreciate it.

And I am definitely using The Life of Brian. I can't resist!
American History X
I actually wrote on American History X once before and was thinking of using it again. That is a great film - really shows the pervasive nature of racism. I would definitely have chosen that film if I were to write on racism, but as I feel that a lot of other students are going to focus on racism, I would rather turn my efforts to homophobia and misogyny.

I still will probably mention it - at the very least discuss the use of tattoos as characterization.
Se7en might be interesting just because it was John Doe's intolerance of what he saw as sinners that he used to justify his violent acts - but then again he was a psychopath so probably not a sensible reason and it's not a visually arresting image (though the crime scenes are) it's when he is in the back of the car with Sommerset and Miles on the way to find 6 and 7.
Maybe Dr Strangelove (or how I learnt to stop worrying and love the bomb) - so many iconic images in that - but that's about - on one level - political tolerance/intolerance the willingness of two nations and political systems to tolerate the other while arming heavily, The tolerance in the title is for ever more deadly forms of weaponry and therefore implied increasingly greater intolerance of the enemy.

The film is about the inevitable weaknesses of people who make mistakes that lead to disaster, but it's presaged on a theme of political intolerance.

I'm thinking of maybe George C. Scott's "Oops" moment "frying chickens in the barnyard!" when he realises that all the training that the military pilots do to avoid counter measures and defences systems like radar, is actually going to work and that therefore we are all doomed.


1:53 - 2:49
I had mulled over Se7en because it is a visually striking film - the machete dildo, the man who epitomizes gluttony, especially the woman with the phone and the pills (I could make a misogyny argument there), even Gwyneth Paltrow's head in a box - and it revolves, unabashedly around a catholic ideal (though, I am unsure if there is biblical evidence for the seven deadly sins).

I hadn't considered Dr. Strangelove, but that is a great recommendation. It has been a long time since I have seen it - and then, I never did see it in its entirety. I will try to watch it this week and see if I can work with it.

Thank you for the suggestions!
Weird. Noone pointed out Griffith's Intolerance yet :-P
the movie that was supposed to "free the world of prejudice?" Yeah, I can't take D.W. Griffith seriously as a liberal filmmaker after Birth of a Nation, arguably the most racist film of all time (also one of the longest, most life-sucking-est films of all time).

RSS

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service