Saturday, July 21, 2012

Film and the Aurora shootings

Yesterday in Aurora, Colorado, a gunman opened fire in movie theater showing The Dark Knight Rises. The alleged shooter was James Holmes. It was a midnight showing. Twelve people died. Dozens injured. Holmes allegedly said to the police he was the Joker and had his hair dyed red.

It's hard to say anything about this tragic incident. It's so senseless. I'm speechless. I went to a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises. The theater had an annoying promotion of trivia and costume contests. I recall that the promotion went over twelve o'clock and the audience yelling for the movie to start. In the Aurora shooting, some of the moviegoers thought it was a promotion. But as I think about the tragedy, it occurs to me that it could happen anywhere in America.

And if the gunman was emulating The Joker, a villain from Batman, the question arises, "Do films inspire crime?" I recall Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers" (1994) allegedly encouraging people to commit murders. Films do not cause people to kill. They may encourage mentally ill people to make a fantasy into a reality. Chilling the speech of filmmakers does more harm than releasing a conroversial movie. Stopping a film, stops an idea. And ideas lead to change for the better of society.

I am saddened by the loss of life and injuries to those moviegoers in Aurora. God bless them and comfort them.

No comments: