Desensitised Territory

Film still from Nosferatu (1922) by F. W. Murnau

Yesterday I attended  a child protection course and learned that many people get desensitised to predators. I heard about the case of a woman, who took photos of babies for child porn sites; and everybody in the kindergarten was looking away, as she was  a bully and nobody cared to do something about this. I listened to more examples of a desensitised environment in child abuse cases, and it made me feel sick to my stomach. Really sick. This attitude is similar to  looking away when somebody is attacked in the streets or when members of the Golden Dawn (in Greece) attack  people. I bet every torturer or abuser has got a pet that they love more than any human they use and abuse.

Today I watched Hunted (2012) at BBC1 and  felt the same sickness. All this violence. The film contains  mainly brutal scenes, showing faces of tortured persons and portraying a psychological environment of no trust and desensitised and cruel people. One is, as one of the protagonists said, not supposed to ask questions, and has to kill a member of the team as they could become dangerous for the group’s safety, but note, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, as one makes mistakes otherwise. So you kill and don’t question. You kill for religions, ideologies, criminal activities, group coherence, strategic and economic reasons, nationalism, racism, because it is useful for somebody somewhere. NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

This sick feeling in my stomach does not want to go away. I like movies, I love fiction, I do not believe that everything has to be vanilla, but I am fed up with seeing films that contain mainly scenes of violence and torture. They do not their supposed Voodoo magic; the real violence continues out there in other countries, in other ideologies, but also here in this country or even in my home. There is violence everywhere. It is sickening.

Photo source: Sight and Sound, issue February 2001. bfi.org

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