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Boys using violence to impress girls

29 May 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland in a scene from the movie MudSome lessons need to be learned more than once. A young boy punches an older peer in defence of the honour of a girl he admires. The girl is so impressed that she invites the boy on a date. Is violence, then, an approved medium for the defence of romantic ideals? The boy tests this premise twice more, with less gratifying results. 

Lives broken by false abuse claims

22 May 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Tim Roth with his arm around a smiling Eloise Laurence from the movie poster for BrokenWhereas The Hunt portrayed a small town gripped by paranoia after a sensitive and imaginative child's confused comments are taken out of context, in Broken the accusations are more sinister, used by a young girl to deflect consequences from herself, in full knowledge of the damage that her claims will cause to the accused.

Cheap shots at religious fish out of water

15 May 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Freeman and Anthony from Holy SwitchWhile Anthony the Maronite is dismissive of his Buddhist hosts' beliefs, Freeman the Buddhist finds meaning in the symbols and rituals of Catholicism. The overly simplistic intention seems to be to set open and inclusive Eastern religion alongside narrow-minded, arrogant Western Christianity.

Mixed messages about exploiting girls

07 May 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Characters in bikinis from Spring BreakersMelinda Tankard Reist says 'in a culture that rewards exhibitionism, your achievements count for nothing unless you're willing to get naked'. The characters in Spring Breakers are the end product of a culture that has commodified young women completely. But is it helpful to objectify women to make a point about objectifying women? 

Ensnared by sex abuse paranoia

01 May 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Mads Mikkelsen in The Hunt Kindergarten teacher Lucas' life falls apart after he is wrongfully accused of abusing a young girl. We might feel outraged at his persecution, yet are his persecutors really guilty of anything more than taking a victim at her word? Rather than a cautionary tale, Lucas' story is best viewed as a tragedy.

How an advertiser toppled a dictator

17 April 2013 | Tim Kroenert

'No' movie poster; paranoid-looking man looks over his shoulder, word 'No' is emblazoned above his headPinochet's supporters are, with good reason, banking on the populace's fear and willingness to maintain the status quo. Enter brash young advertising executive René Saavedra. His rusted-on socialist colleagues are at first aghast but gradually persuaded by his conviction that rather than wallowing in negativity, they should be selling optimism.

The Palestinian who would be Jewish

1 Comment
10 April 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Jules Sitruk looks pensively into the distance in The Other SonA Rabbi informs Joseph that although he has been circumcised and celebrated his Bah Mitzvah, the revelations about his biological origins mean he must undergo 'cleansing' rituals to be accepted as a Jew. Religious institutions err when they elevate legalism over human need. In this instance the institution is found wanting.

Rebuilding humanity after workplace horror

03 April 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Matthias Schoenaerts carries Marion Cotillard on his back during a scene from Rust and BoneStéphanie loses her legs in a workplace accident. Alain is a single father who becomes her confidante. Their sexual encounters are shown to restore and affirm her dignity; they highlight the physicality of the act, particularly how Stéphanie's confidence in her own changed body flourishes through it.

Film takes sex abuse guilt to the Vatican

20 March 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Mary's face, weeping, in shadowsFr Murphy's atrocities include using the confessional as a lair in which to abuse his deaf students. With the Royal Commission already gathering steam, Silence in the House of God warns what revelations may be to come, and reminds those with high hopes for Pope Francis how much work remains to be done.

Dawn of the Assange cult

14 March 2013 | Tim Kroenert

Alex Williams as young Julian Assange in UndergroundThe roots of Assange's civil disobedience are linked to his derision of his mother's penchant for ineffective peaceful protest. His family's run-ins with the mountain cult of which they were one-time members hints at lasting psychological trauma in Asssange that may contribute to his later persona as a lone avenger.

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