Three Films as Violence Exegetes
Many films offer penetrating insight into macro-economic and political trends as they relate to violence, as in the 2005 documentary Why We Fight, for example. Therein, the chilling words of Dwight Eisenhower are recalled, coinciding with Girard’s latest book: that the containment of war has grown out of governmental, presidential control. While such macro analysis is illuminating, there are other factors to consider in examining violence today, especially in light of the recent shifts in the types of violence: since the end of the Cold War, there has been a marked decline in international conflict, replaced by smaller-scale, protracted, intra-national conflict. Though Eisenhower’s warnings about world-war styled military build-up are still valid, we might also consider the micro-dynamics of conflict that would lie at the roots of intra-national conflicts: civil unrest, community strife, local justice, the personalities and habits of conflict, and, in Girardian terms, the cultural dissolution sacrificial safeguards. In this sense, I will here discuss three films that display the more interpersonal psychological, mimetic dynamics of violence.