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Film Analysis The Life of David Gale
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The debate about whether capital punishment should be used has raged incessantly since it was reinstituted in the Democratic United States in 1976. The latest statistics on the death penalty reveal that 71% of Americans favor it for citizens convicted of murder, while 26% oppose it. Although the United States doesn't lead the world in total numbers of executions per year, it is within the top five. Of all the 38 states that still have capital punishment California leads with the most inmates on death row at 639 and Texas following with 447. California along with a growing number of...
the taxicab company, Roy's Taxi, was exact to the local businesses. The protests on campus and at the Capital Building were typical of what one might see regularly in the city of Austin. The city of Huntsville is placed in East Texas north of Houston. It is a relatively small town with a huge prison system sprawled out within the piney wooded area with two-lane bare roads connecting the different facilities. I have visited this particular penitentiary and would have to declare that this film truly depicted what its like to enter such an institution as the Huntsville Penitentiary.
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The Battle of Algiers The Battle...The Battle of Algiers The Battle of Algiers, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, produced in 1966 depicts the 1950's Algerian war of independence with chilling authenticity. Cast almost entirely with nonprofessional actors, and filmed in documentary neorealist style in the serpentine alleys, stairways and archways of Algiers's Muslim Kasbah. Pontecorvo used newsreel film stock, telephoto close-ups, and a percussive, hard-driving musical score to create a swiftly moving political thriller Hornaday. It is an anatomy of terror and counter terror that remains unsurpassed Rainer. The film does not romanticize terrorists, demonize the French, or valorize violence in the name of some sort of people's revolution; instead the director goes at once deeper and higher, examining each side's motives and contradictions Hornaday. Bombs and bullets do not choose their targets, individuals do, both sides do savage things and both can supply rational arguments to prove that they are on the side of morality. The film is poignant because it shows a level of bitter reality Ebert there are no heroes, only perpetrators and innocent victims. Children shoot French officials at point blank range. Women plant bombs in cafes. Men fire automatic weapons indiscriminately into crowds. Soldiers brutalize their captives and the military indiscriminately razes buildings and threaten civilians. The film begins with the Front de Libération Nationale, or FLN, issuing a communiqué calling for the expulsion of all French from Algeria, followed by the murders of policemen, shot and stabbed seemingly at random by nondescript Arab perpetrators who then disappear into the crowd. The incidents multiply and the prefect, moving outside the law, arranges the clandestine bombing of a building in the Arab quarter associated with the rebels. Thereafter the FLN begins it notorious civilian bombing campaign Beary. In the film's strongest scene, three Arab women dressed as chic French girls infiltrate the European Quarter, which has been isolated from the Kasbah by checkpoints, in order to plant bombs in two cafes and an Air France office. We see businessmen at the bar, travelers waiting to board planes, teenagers dancing, and children eating ice cream cones"¦ all about to be incinerated Rainer. The bombs detonate simultaneously, littering the French Quarter with maimed bodies and debris, sending the populace into a panic. Paris responds by deploying French Special Forces to Algiers, and a news bulletin informs that "the Inspector General has taken drastic steps to ensure law and order and to protect people and property." It goes on to say that the Army will, "take over responsibility for law and order "¦ using all civil and military measures necessary." The Army, led by Lt. Colonel Philippe Mathieu, has a strategic plan to track down and stop the terrorists by using severe interrogation, i.e. torture Sailer. Thus we have the ethical dilemma of the film, at least from the French point of view. Is torture a justifiable counter measure to terrorism? Can it be justified at all, if so then on what grounds and on whose authority? The stakeholders in the film are threefold: The public, the French military, charged with protecting the public, and the FLN terrorists, who's goal is to wage war against the French in Algeria. It would seem that protecting innocent people is good, and killing them is bad, therefore measures taken in pursuit of the good are moral. It also seems that torture, the deliberate infliction of physical suffering intended to elicit intelligence Peters is also wrong. But it cannot be that simple. The film deals in dark subject matter, about which there are no clear answers. Condemning French brutality outright, comes with the corollary of implicitly approving the terrorist's acts. Likewise, utter disapproval of the terrorists implies unspoken sanction of French actions. From a utilitarian perspective, protecting a majority against a minority of murderers can be seen as grounds to torture those who have relevant information. Col. Mathieu recognizes that fact. He tells is men: "the problem, as usual, is: first, the enemy; second, how to destroy him. There are 400,000 Arabs in Algiers. All against us? Of course not. There's only a minority that rules by terror and violence." Moreover, under utilitarian thinking torture is obviously justified, and the single right thing to do, when it is the only way to prevent a serious and imminent threat Allhoff. To Mathieu, the needs of the French community at large out way any and all needs of those in military custody. Further utilitarian judgment could lead to the assumption that even those French not in Algiers, and not directly threatened by the FLN are being tormented by them through terror and intimidation, and that their needs should also be considered. Ending the terror campaign will certainly improve their well being, by alleviating their fear, by promoting the common defense and by restoring order. It can also be argued that the terrorists, by their involvement in vicious terror plots, have surrendered their rights not to be tortured. As a result, torturing them is not per say immoral because they have no ethical appeal and no rights to violate. Even supposing their rights are indivisible and cannot be taken away; do the innocent's rights to not be killed not supercede the rights of those who are to be tortured? Even if all rights violations are equally undesirable, it seems appropriate to torture one or two captives to obtain relevant information to prevent further rights violations of innocent people Allhoff. For these reasons, the French have decided that, given their circumstances, torture is justifiable. From that perspective, it can be assumed that since the military is charged with protecting the populace and rooting out the terrorists, not torturing for information would be against their duty and therefore immoral. Consequently torture can be seen as not only justified in the situation, but in the context, the ethical thing to do. Also, the military officers have an ethical duty to destroy the terrorist cells with all expediency. They are charged with doing anything possible to stop more attacks from happening. Would they not be shirking their moral duty by making the decision not to use every available means to complete their mission? Assuming they did not torture and more attacks continued, would they not be morally responsible for the deaths they could have otherwise possibly prevented? Of special significance in the film is the fact that no one actually raises any objection to the use of torture, ethical or otherwise. The FLN does not list it specifically as a grievance against France. The characters are more or less ambivalent about it, and it is treated as a consequence. When journalists praise Col. Mathieu for his troops' successes, but express reservations about "the methods that they [the soldiers] have employed," he responds with simple logic, "The successes obtained are the results of those methods. One presupposes the other and vice versa." In the film's most important dialogue, Mathieu confronts the journalist's moral ambiguity and that of the French public at large: box quote The problem is: the FLN wants us to leave Algeria and we want to remain. Now, it seems to me that, despite varying shades of opinion, you all agree that we must remain. When the rebellion first began, there were not even shades of opinion. All the newspapers "¦ wanted the rebellion suppressed. And we were sent here for this very reason. "¦ We are soldiers and our only duty is to win. Therefore, to be precise, I would now like to ask you a question: Should France remain in Algeria? If you answer "yes," then you must accept all the necessary consequences. The greatness of The Battle of Algiers lies in its power to embrace moral ambiguity without succumbing to it Hornaday. Murder and torture are immoral; those who engage in such activity are only ethical in their own eyes. There are no heroes, the sorrow of the film cannot be suppressed and leaves viewers with the sense that all sides in the conflict have in a way, lost their souls Rainer. The series of escalating skirmishes seem to culminate not in victory but in a deflating sense of lost virtue. Though the French win the battle in Algiers, their victory is shamed by their actions, and they ultimately lose Algeria.   

The Battle of Algiers The Battle of Algiers, directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, produced in 1966 depicts the 1950's Algerian war of independence with chilling authenticity. Cast almost entirely with nonprofessional actors, and filmed in documentary neorealist style in the serpentine alleys, stairways and archways of Algiers's Muslim Kasbah. Pontecorvo used...

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"Fight Club" by Chuck Palahnuik follows..."Fight Club" by Chuck Palahnuik follows the crazy, madcap life of a man who attempts to escape the system that is life by creating mayhem in the world. The main character, the narrator, throughout the book, remains nameless. He is "Mr Ordinary Joe", he goes to work, he does his job, he comes home, and he spends his money. His job as an auto-recall supervisor is eventless and is one of the main reasons he does not like his life. He has no real friends, and all the time he has free he spends attempting to upgrade the appearance of his home, and the appearance of his life. He becomes disillusioned by life, and is constantly thinking of ways he could die accidentally, or ways he could manage to escape his pain. He eventually drives himself to insomnia, and finds no medical help or support. His doctor suggests that if he wants to see real pain, that he should go round to the local church one night to see support groups for survivors of Testicular Cancer, and other people who have survived terrible ordeals. He decides that he should go round and see, because he has nothing else to do due to his lack of social life. The narrator finds that by going to these support groups, he can let all of his pent up emotion go, and in due course, be able to sleep. In my opinion, this part of the story is one of the turning points for the narrator's life, due to the fact that the narrator has never felt so low in his life and is now going to support groups to try and boost his ego. All goes well until a woman by the name of Marla Singer comes to the support groups. Marla only comes along to the groups to make fun of the people who are there, and to make sure that her life is not as worthless as theirs. The narrator finds that around Marla he cannot let his feelings go, and cannot cry. He returns to having insomnia. He decides to split his support groups with Marla, because he needs these groups to be able to sleep at night. This suggests that he felt insecure about his life, and needed someone else worse off than him to be around to make him feel better. Also, the fact that he could not cry when he was around Marla suggests that right from the first time he met her, the narrator had some sort of feelings for her. Not long after meeting Marla, our Narrator meets another person critical to the story, Tyler Durden. The narrator awakens on a plane that is bound for a destination in the US where he must perform a survey for his job as an auto-recall supervisor, to find Tyler sitting beside him. They strike up a chat, the narrator explaining about his theory of 'single serving friends' people whom he will sit next to on a plane and only ever talk to once, and then will never talk to again and after a few minutes Tyler excuses himself and leaves. Suffering from more insomnia, the narrator once again finds himself awake, and at the airport of his home city. Approaching the desk, he discovers that his baggage has been lost, all his possessions gone. He goes on to prove how obsessed he was with his possessions by being able to name every item he had in the bag, and managing to give reasons as to why he treasured the item so much. Things worsen when he returns to his apartment to find that something, or someone, has blown his apartment to smithereens. He finds that everything he ever owned is now lying in the parking lot, and his entire apartment is nothing but a smouldering crater. Something inside him tells him to use his last quarter to phone Tyler Durden. They agree to meet up, and eventually Tyler lets the narrator come and stay with him. I liked this part of the book because this was the starting point for the downfall of the narrator's life, and to be honest the real start of the story. The narrator's life quickly begins to spiral out of control as he and Tyler become best friends, and start setting up 'Fight Clubs' where men like the narrator can gather and savour the life-enhancing rush that physical confrontation brings. The narrator finds that these 'Fight Clubs' allow him to release his emotions, and relieve him of his insomnia. Soon, the narrator begins to realise that Tyler is everything he wants to be, and he becomes jealous. The narrator comes to realise that Tyler is not like normal people; not only can Tyler do anything he wants, but he can also have whomever he wants. In this case, Tyler wants and has Marla. Tyler demands respect, and at Fight Club he gets it. He has jobs he hates, and can mastermind schemes to blackmail his bosses into paying him for doing nothing. Tyler is free and able, unlike the narrator who is stuck in his job and to the life he has created for himself. To the narrator, Tyler is how he wants to be. If the narrator knew about the fact that he is Tyler, then this would be a good example of the narrator's self-loathing, and hatred of the fact that he cannot become what he wishes to be: a more confident, self-dependent person. The narrator slowly begins to hate Tyler. Tyler starts to push the 'Fight Clubs' further, faster, and to greater heights. Fight Club becomes something more than just people confronting their emotions; Tyler starts to turn the Fight Club goers into his personal Anarchist army. Tyler trains his army to spread terror and fear, recruiting people through Fight Club and allowing them more freedom to express their pent up emotions. The narrator begins to try and discover who Tyler Durden really is, he searches all over the places where Tyler had ever been, and discovers something deeply strange and disturbing: He is Tyler Durden. The narrator's world once again falls into disarray as he realises that Tyler was merely using his body as he slept, and that Tyler was nothing but his projection that was made up of all the things he hated about the world, everything he wanted to be, and everything he wishes he could have been. The stark realisation prompts Tyler to disappear, and for the narrator to once again take control. He attempts to clean up the mess that Tyler had created, but to no avail. Tyler reappears and attempts to kill the narrator. The narrator eventually ends up shooting himself. In the end, this is what the narrator had wanted all along. The narrator managed to create a persona that he projected, and only he could see. All his anger, all his hatred, all his longing, all combined into one single feeling that caused him to manifest his hidden emotions into a second personality. The narrator would be the sensible, non-risk taking, and generally normal person, who would go about his daily routine and would come home at night. Tyler on the other hand, was the opposite, he wanted to break the rules, he wanted to take risks, and he was a totally extravagant person. Tyler was not shy, he was not scared, and he was never afraid to fight for what he believed in. To quote the book, "If you're wondering who I am, I am you. But also, I am Tyler Durden; I am everything you wanted to be. You've failed at life, and I'm here to take over." This was Tyler's view on the narrator, and something else the narrator managed to manifest in Tyler: His self-hatred. Tyler provided an escape for the narrator, a safe haven if you will, and a place where he could do what he wanted without the fear of the repercussions, "Whilst you've slept, I used your body to do the things you couldn't. I stood up for what you really wanted, and everything is going to be ok. We're going to live forever, thanks to me"¦" Unlike the narrator, Tyler has an ego. He also believes in himself, and has confidence in his own ability. But as Tyler is the opposite of the narrator, he is therefore much more violent and prone to mood swings. This is proven near the end of the book after the narrator realises that Tyler is him, and Tyler attempts to kill him after finding out. "Don't move, or I'll make sure that neither of us makes it through to the end of this." I froze, Tyler with the gun pressed up to my head, "You could make a mess of all this, but I won't let you. This is MY plan, and MINE only. You've made enough mistakes, and I don't need you anymore" I sincerely hoped that Tyler wasn't going to shoot me, I really hoped to god he wouldn't, "So, this is it"¦" Up until the end, the narrator does not wish to let any of the things that Tyler was embrace him and enrich him. This was because the narrator was afraid of change, and the fact that Tyler scared him. Tyler was not him, and the narrator did not ever want to be Tyler after the things Tyler had done with Fight Club. To conclude, most of the things Tyler was were not something the narrator wished to be, but the fact that he manifested this second personality suggested that he desired to have at least some of Tyler's traits within him. In the end, the narrator managed to confront his fears and conquer them. Tyler was vanquished, and the narrator once again had his life back, but with more confidence and a bit more meaning to his life. The theme of the book, as I see it, is about how people cling to image and conformity. The narrator longed for an image for which he could relate to, and for something to which he could relate to other people with. The narrator believed that he had no friends because his life was not up to what other people expected, and that the only way to gain friends was to become 'cool' as he saw it. Unfortunately, the narrator had problems expressing his feelings and therefore created Tyler as an output for his pent up emotions.   

"Fight Club" by Chuck Palahnuik follows the crazy, madcap life of a man who attempts to escape the system that is life by creating mayhem in the world. The main character, the narrator, throughout the book, remains nameless. He is "Mr Ordinary Joe", he goes to work, he does his...

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