Notes on the Journey

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Violence in Film

One of the positive reactions to the "Dark Knight" Colorado shootings is that the film industry is doing some self-reflection on the nature of violence in movies.  Long overdue, but better late than not at all.  And, as tragic what triggered the self-reflection is, these types of events that change the face of the way we live and think are always multidimensional.

The "Dark Knight" film goes into the conditions that shaped its violent characters.  And, the shooter in Colorado most likely has a very dark and damaged past.  But, there are many emotionally damaged people living lives that don't include murder and a continued perpetration of violence.  No matter the wounds, damage and afflictions of our pasts, we're all still totally responsible for what we choose to do in the world.  And, that includes taking responsibility for the types of violence we perpetrate on screen.

Our films have become more and more violent, trying to up the adrenaline rush and sensate experience of the viewer.  But, it's resulted in a sort of numbing effect.  People who see too much violence, through video games and films, develop a numbness to it.  And often, violence in films comes with no visible consequence, which leads to a misunderstanding of how real violence plays out in the world.

The other factor that doesn't seem to be understood, is that it's not possible to continuously put out the images and vibrations and thought forms of violence into the world through films without it creating and fueling real violence.  We get back what we put out.  That's not just a philosophy, that's the way Life works.  And, why do we constantly perpetrate violence on New York City?  New York City and the island of Manhattan seem to be the focus of violence in film.  Destruction is heaped on New York in film after film.  We make it the primary target.  And, energetically, that's the message that goes out into Life.

Films are not real.  They are imaginary.  But, it is through our imaginations that we create and manifest things into the world of form.  When we are watching a film, our imaginations take it as real.  We get real adrenaline rushes, we experience real fear, real joy, real sadness.  The emotions that are being experienced are real.  And, the vibrations of those emotions and images are real.  Triggered by an imaginary experience, but ultimately real none the less.

When we watch violence, those images don't readily go away.  We have to process all the violence we took in while we were watching the film or television program.  And, there tends to be a residual effect from these types of experiences.  They don't lift us up, they drag us down and burden us with more darkness.  Even if the end of whatever film we're watching ends on a positive note, if the violence that got us there was too much, it can overpower the ending.  It makes us feel too compromised.

And, ultimately, as with anything in the marketplace, we vote with our dollars.  If we decide that violence is not what we want, and stop spending our money to support films with violent themes and stories, then less of them will be made.  So, it's really up to each and every one of us who go to see movies what kinds of films we support and perpetrate.  Give some thought to where your money is going and what it's supporting next time you buy a movie ticket.  From now on, I'm going to give it a lot more thought.   

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