Violence in Movies

in 29th Torino Film Festival

by Jean-Marie Mollo Olinga

Films are made to bring out the opinions of critics and historians, if not a reflection of the society in which they are produced as in the case of projection. Those presented at the 29th Torino Film Festival are no exception to this rule. Of the sixteen films in the official competition, four were strictly violent, or were heavily loaded with sequences where violence was often central to the climax. Examples abound with Attack The Block by Joe Cornish (United Kingdom-France, 2011, 88 min); A Confession (Ganjeung) by Park Soo-Min (South Korea, 2010, 969 min); Ghosted by Craig Viveiros (United Kingdom, 2011, 102 min) and The Raid (Serbuan Maut) by Gareth Huw Evans (Indonesia, 2011, 100 min).

Generally, defined as a coercion of a person by force or intimidation, violent exhibitionism in these films appears to be a “wanton force which impairs the physical or mental to change, in purposes of domination or destruction, humanity of the individual”, in the words of the philosopher Blandine Kriegel.

Thus exposed as such, violence is the aim rule. Besides, has it ever been otherwise? Even if they are from Europe or Asia, directors referenced were indifferent towards the brutal depiction of violence they suggest. This manifestation itself is not unequivocal, that is to say the brutality, so are they perhaps making feasible the risk for these works, for both their violent preoccupation and the graphic depiction of the violence, to be discarded with the store cupboard films? And in this register A Confession (Ganjeung) by Park Soo-Min and The Raid by Gareth Huw Evans… out-weigh the golden palm.

In both films, one can note a certain trivialization of violence, which is presented as the only way to resolve disputes. Although, in the first place, there is (still) the concern for an aesthetic approach, for he asks if these films do not show that violence begets violence, and even to do good, as for example, saving lives, is through violence ? Consequently, the viewers are plunged into a world gore, where the blood smell, sticky paste and ejection from the body, to arouse a suck (and not the emotion). On the technical side, The Raid (Serbuan Maut) above all, does not bother with a complicated plot, it simply reflects an awareness of the fighting with bare hands, arms to form panels or fire arms that ignores the dramatic complexity, where special effects (distressing) shackled and interrupted sequences need superhuman character.

To conclude, the spread of violence in this way can lead the viewers to step back from this, by asking how and why, because violence can cover infinite meaning and would create awareness by the clash of images.