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← Atheists Get Their "Brokeback Mountain" Moment in the New Sundance Film, "The Ledge"

Corylus's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Corylus

Comment 2 by A4thinker :

Contrasted to this Goddamn awful film, this is probably just gonna take us back a few years of progress. It appears to have absolutely no point other than to show a bit of sex, the Christian fundy as the bad guy and the rational atheist as the good guy.

I would suspect that it is a little more complicated than that.

At the beginning, the fundy will be seen as the good guy by many. He is clean cut, articulate, all sensitive with his gee-tar and most of all, very godly. If Chapman has done this correctly, and I suspect (as an experienced script-writer) he will have done, then the swap of sympathies from one protagonist to another will be a major aspect. There will be clues from the beginning that he might not be a very nice man - the draping himself over his wife while meeting another man (blatant, creepy scent-marking that all women will recognise) might be the first one. Then things will escalate until eventually the idea of him as a nice man will become untenable. Make no mistake: he will not be bad from the start.

There is a hilarious (and disturbing) film review site for real fundamentalists called capalert it is for Christians, especially Christian parents, to use before they decide whether or not to view a film. (Heh! you can spend hours looking up your favourites on there). Every now and then though they make me very sad.(1) This happened when I read their review of Brokeback Mountain...

Brokeback Mountain has got to be one of the most sly and cunning anti-Christian films ever produced. It violated God's Word not by belittling or vilifying God's Word or faith in him but rather by encouraging empathy for the practice of behaviors that slap the very face of God.....

What is important to the moviemakers, rather, is that the viewer be made to feel, and feel, and feel again as deeply as possible the exquisitely painful loneliness and heartache of the homosexual cowboys – denied their truest happiness because of an ignorant and homophobic society.

Thus are the Judeo-Christian moral values that formed the very foundation and substance of Western culture for the past three millennia all swept away on a delicious tide of manufactured emotion. And believe me, skilled directors and actors can manufacture emotion by the truckload. It's what they do for a living.

You stop marginalising people when you see in them a reflection of yourself. You start (and continue) to marginalise them when you only see your shadow. The writer of the review above felt himself start to empathise, saw his image start to clear as a result, and was obviously terrified at the prospect of seeing himself reflected in a detested other's face.

It might be that some viewers will be braver than him and thus able to look at themselves for a time. A reasonable aim, I would say.

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(1) They are not all bad though - they thought Daredevil was dreadful and they were right :P

Wed, 08 Jun 2011 21:27:36 UTC | #636130