Religion Film Analysis
Perception is often defined as the process of how you view the world around you. Organizing, interpreting information starts out from that perception. Perception plays a big part because your reality is determined by your culture, beliefs, and life experiences. Perception also affects the way people communicate with one another. Perception also plays a crucial role in representing war conflict among society and expressing who the good and bad guys are. Religion is also somewhat the primary source in some cases.
Whether it being the good guy trying to seek justice in bringing down the bad guy, war is represented in many ways as a resolution to resolve an issue. I also think that religion paves a pathway for society which allows people to have a reason behind their action. This point has shaped people’s personal morals and perceptions as well as the laws to establish society’s fundamental ways. Many movies portray religion to interpret messages to their audiences in different ways. The entertainment industry has also played a vital role in representing religious practices and beliefs in a bad way.
Many films have spirituality and even strictly use religion as their main theme. It provides a sense of guide. Religion has its shares of promoting violence as we can see in four films. Many will argue that the cause on wars is from economic and political reasons. Separating religion out of economic and political motives can reveal so much. In these specific film’s American Sniper and Three Kings, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and Inglorious Bastards their cultural changes can be examined through the different representations of war and shows who the good and bad guys.
In the legendary film, American Sniper, real-life experiences can express how much of an evolving country America has transformed into. The representation of war in which it is also apparent to show the good and bad guys is also classified here. Americans are often looked upon as self-centered and only concerned about their own people. They had no intentions of befriending the enemy and in this film, it is obvious as to who the enemy is. This film through the eyes of Kyle, presents more of an emotional, brave and violent aspect, while in film Three Kings it contributes more of an adventurous, rebellious, brutal and comical side.
The Gulf war which was viewed as an interesting part of modern history does reflect within these cultural changes and can be seen in these films. The two films in a way try to ignore the political stance rather than the military establishment. In John Engelhardt’s book, The End of Victory Culture he exposes the victory culture of the US propaganda by media and industries, particularly those that are targeted towards cultural growth, and victory culture’s decline from the Vietnam War to the present.
Engelhardt’s book argues that the truthful collapse was due to the decline of Americas victory culture. Foreign threats and lack of position understanding have also increased violence. He explains how an array of disconnect since 9/11 plays a big part in change including how dominance, victory, and war are perceived. John Engelhardt argues that the reinterpretation of American culture since World War II relates to the experience of a generation that grew up in the wake of Japanese surrender to present time.
Through these movie’s they explore the cultural values within a nation that has lost its national myth which Engelhardt states that elimination of a less than human enemy was the key to achieving its destiny (). It can be determined that even an observer of American culture would say that that change has been through being more sympathetic to civilians. The concept of befriending another group was completely out the door. Those changes were made by the cultural values, lifestyles and attitude. There seems to be an endless array of conflict because there is a lack of agreement.
Within the film Chris Kyle often refers to the bible and God as the center of why he kept his faith. I think the after math of war does in fact traumatize a person which is why I think Kyle struggled emotionally after returning from war. His religious identity may also have been his way of survival. With the number of kills Kyle reportedly recorded he became numb and killing became a norm for him. Since he knew Jesus died on the cross, But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation, he wrote. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot.
They all deserved to die (). He felt that it was his duty to kill the evil and we can clearly see this through his encounters. He justifies his kills by expressing how they were indeed evil and they deserved to be killed. Using biblical references in some way provided a source of shield and protection over his actions. Kyle did not have to make a big show out of getting down on one knee and praying to show his religious beliefs verbally as anyone Christian would in church, but instead this was a mental act that kept his faith strong.
What made American Sniper quite interesting is the fact that it introduced the typical Arab stereotype. When Kyle was on top of a building watching through a high-powered scope there was a young mother and boy walking. Kyle watched as the mother, wrapped in her burqa and hijab, and handed a grenade to the young boy and sent him through towards a squad of American troops. They were seen from his point of view as dangerous and he had to protect his men, so he executed them both. The film shows no empathy towards the woman and child. Kyle’s viewpoint holds as a way of justification for his actions. To protect his troop, he had to make a choice and pick who was the good and bad guys and remorse was not an option here.
In another way the film Three Kings pinpoints a completely different outlook on the representations of war and who are the good guys and bad guys with religion. What Englehardt mentions can be assessed in the film Three Kings. In his online journal he says, The only notable movie to come out of the war, Three Kings, presented the conflict as Vietnam on speed: a war of multiple betrayals and massacres; a war without honor or sense (Dreaming of World War II, living with Vietnam).
Because the movie portrays a wild, comical and interesting view the movie presents so much truth. The three men seem to be on an adventure to find the gold but along the way the greed turns into a good deed and sacrifice. At the beginning of the movie tension arises when the civilian children think the American soldiers are there to help, but the parents sense something is wrong because the soldiers barge in looking for something. They are intimidated and afraid and that is something all war troops pose in other countries. They are there to protect their own country and what they sent out to do. In one scene, it was misinterpretation because the Arab soldiers shot the big truck which they assumed was dangerous but instead they realized after busting it with bullets that it contained milk for the civilians. A lot of what the movie presented explains exactly how out soldiers are.
Troy did not want to go through with the quest because he knew it would be dangerous, and he felt that he needed to stay alive because of his family. A few examples of American culture were when they used football shaped bombs. Clooney also says something very intriguing stating, no unnecessary shots because we know what they do. He means that the Arab soldiers are known for just shooting carelessly, and we saw this because when the three kings tried to escape with the prisoners a little boy tried to stop the explosives and gasses from when shot at Clooney and his team. The Arabs then shot a bomb and killed the little boy.
This shows how because the little boy went against his own people he was killed for trying to help the American soldiers and prisoners he was banished. Another representation of American culture is also the luxurious cars, and how Clooney needed money to give cars, they bought the cars, and how one man was stealing nice jeans. Another interesting point is when troy gets kidnapped by the Arabs and held captive. This explains what Americans go through and what they get themselves into. Interrogation starts when the guy starts questioning Troy about Michael Jackson and why his black skin turned white.
The guy says that America makes blacks hate themselves and he blames America for this. He also states that Americans blow up their homes when they come to Iraq and that is how he lost his child, wife and family. This man is basically expressing his truthful thoughts of how other people perceive Americans stating they come there to destroy. They also state how the American reporters do not know exactly what they are recording, they view things for entertainment and a business. The reporter mentions that the industry is about sexual politics, looks, sex, and style. I find it interesting that when Troy gets rescued he hesitates and does not does not kill the guy because everything he stated to him when he was kidnapped really has him thinking. Troy’s whole perspective is changed now because he sees that these are people too and he had no clue they viewed Americans in such a terrible way that he allows him to live.
Through this film we can see how other countries are intimidated by American soldiers because they are trained in weapons, cause interrogation, and invade another country. This film basically starts out as greed but later turned into good deed. Although Clooney and his team was less than 100 feet away from the check in point at the Iraq border point they risked their constitutional rights to save those civilian refugees for the gold and good deed. Soldiers are known for their honor but here Clooney feels good about disobeying the policy to help other people instead of earning a star medal for the gold.
The Gold was eventually returned to Kuwait by Iraq, but the American troops were in violation of the American policy for helping the civilians. Although Three Kings advertises more of a dark-comedy yet sympathetic it leans more on a lesson learned. At the same time, it tries to be a film about human nature and how the evil guy and the good guy are at stake. It places war life in a sense of what would you choose your own people or stand up for justice. Since America is known as a moral motivation of liberty and justice for all. It also factors in the Biblical view of human nature and how the concept of sacrifice is the right thing to do.
On the other hand, The Reluctant Fundamentalist focuses on the context of debates about U.S multiculturalism after 9/11. Through this film the representation of war is also apparent as to who the good and bad guys are. Whenever the word Muslim comes into play people automatically assume terrorist. In this film a well-educated Princeton Wall Street analyst from Pakistan reveals how 9/11 changed his worldview and opinion. During a conversation with an American journalist investigating the kidnapping of a foreign professor Changez begins to see why he left the US in the first place.
They want him to go against his own people to help the CIA. possible fundamentalist because of how he looks – racial differences. – America is no longer pulling but pushing. Yet he’s not particularly religious. But during his stay in America, he begins to act in a way that seems increasingly Muslim-nationalist. So there’s an element of him being the reluctant fundamentalist. Changez works for a firm, where he values companies based on their economic fundamentals. As he begins to identify more and more with the employees of the companies that he is valuing, he becomes a reluctant fundamentalist in his inability to continue doing that. an economic boom beginning. fits right in with current debates about the radicalization of young Muslims.
Changez is torn between the desire to belong and his fear of the cultural take their toll on Changez’ life and America soon invades Afghanistan, Changez rejects the American dream altogether, Hamid intentionally leaves open the question of who represents good and who evil in this battle of wills. According to Hamid, “The real question is: Will humanity find the empathy we need if we are to live together.
Many may question why is an American life more important and why is Changez to blame?
His background profile is basically thrown to the side and the American journalist looks at his physical appearance that may fit the what they are looking for. Because Changez is a part of a culture that speaks the Pakistan language they ignore his intelligence but instead use that as a threat. During this time, it seems as if Americans became more cautious and blamed any person that looked different or fit the description after 9/11. In the film a reporter say’s, violence is used as a tool for social change and because Changez held secret meetings they thought he was behind it. Changez was treated as a terrorist when he was stripped and told to bend over. He felt as if they dehumanized him. He noticed his friends started talking down on Muslim’s.
American’s took different forms on how they reached this event. When an individual is not culturally fit he is judged and labeled as a terrorist or an enemy. As things progress aggression begins to form which interfered with their jobs. Changez was harassed, tires slashed, his family’s house was raided, and then suddenly violence came over him. He still carried on his cultural traditions but attending church and. Changez noticed that he is trying to help everyone, but everyone saw it as wrong.
He had concluded that money cannot fix everything. His job had told him to get rid of his beard because it intimidated people because they were used to a clean cut. Appearances were important at this point. Changez experience injustice when he was arrested because the police thought he did something wrong when he was the wrong guy. Changez says I have to live in truth which is why he finally decides to go back to his homeland where he felt comfortable and likely accepted by his people. Once home the song lyrics are religious and he wants the lord to hear him out. With no job or no visa he feels that since he could not be himself in another country he would do it in his own country.
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