Tuesday, July 29, 2008

America's Man on Fire

This recently made film starring Denzel Washington portrays the new American hero as amoral and ruthless in seeking justice. Sure, our nation's had its fair share of Scarface or Robocop films, but Man On Fire, with its hard ball ethnocentric attitude sets a new level of grotesque. Particularly, its glamorization of U.S. government CIA torture sends a chilling message.

Now, Americans are lauded for tortuous actions abroad, and again posited as the real victim in a spree of all-encompassing evil. The film markets violence as cool and necessary to combat evils from the outside, lurking behind our every step. Denzel, "Creasy", is praised for his bold actions in trying to save a kidnapped child he bodyguards. At the same time, he acts harshly and without invoking any due process of law, he tortures and kills suspected crime runners. What kind of message does this send our people? That we should defend our government on the use of torture as a just means of "protecting" the vast and impenetrable continent of America?

Since the USA joined the bad guys' team and lost any moral high-ground once held sacred, we are asked to sign up for a system with little beneficial results and all the risks.

America does not have to accept the Man on Fire wolrd, but perhaps sentiment has already gone ablaze.

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