Posted: December 19, 2012 in Current Events, Entertainment, Movies, Reviews

I first saw this film at TIFF last September and was moved to watch it again last night.  It is probably the most and the least appropriate movie to watch following the Newtown shootings.

It is the least appropriate to watch because of its blatant and frankly depraved gun violence.  There is no question that, with a baby shot in the first 5 minutes of the film, most people would see it as a monstrous film.  That is a shame as it is a masterpiece of social commentary.

It is the most appropriate film to watch because it does an excellent job of explaining one motivation behind the violence.  In between the shooting sprees you find an very clear description of the insane culture that pushes the gunman over the edge, presented through TV clips from reality shows and the other incidents in the character’s life.  It, of course, doesn’t justify the violence, but I found myself with a kind of empathy for the shooter, appreciating how the insanity of our culture could drive a weak person absolutely nuts.  Yes, the craziness in the media is a bit exaggerated, but actually, really, only a bit.

God Bless America is one of those films that accurately portrays the illness of our current culture, most clearly found in the U.S., but threatening other countries as well.  It’s not a happy film or a pleasant one to watch.  Actually, it’s a little painful.  But it’s rawness presents a perspective in collective insanity.  I think it was made precisely to address the situation now facing us.

Other films that expose the underbelly of our culture are Winter’s Bone,  V for Vendetta, The Ice Storm and Idiocracy, just to name a few.  I’d be interested in any suggestions for others.




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