And the Oscar Winner Is—Violence

When Annie and I go to Lake Tahoe, we ski during the week, but on the weekends, we avoid the crowded slopes and either go to a movie or hang around the art galleries. One of our favorite galleries is owned by a Korean couple, both of whom are artists.

On our most recent trip, only the wife was at the gallery. We talked about art and then discussed the 2020 Oscar winner, Parasite. The gallery owner had seen it ten times and planned to do so again.

When Annie and I returned home, we decided to see Parasite for ourselves at a local theater. Only a few other people were there. The theater had reclining chairs and surround sound. We sat about an arm’s length away from the screen.

The trailers began on time and, as always, were very loud. (I swear theaters play commercials twenty decibels higher than the feature films.) All five trailers were incredibly violent and almost blew out our eardrums with exploding cars, earth-shattering bombs and blasting machine guns—all about an arm’s length away. Annie and I were wrecks before Parasite even began. No one else in the theater seemed to be bothered.

The movie itself was about two Korean families, one poor and one rich, that viewed life very differently. The poor family seemed to believe that whatever bad acts they did were acceptable because they were poor. These acts ranged from taking advantage of people’s kindness and trust all the way to murder.

We thought the plot was preposterous. One unbelievable event followed another. Some scenes just seemed to be setups for worse violence to happen.

At least 50 percent of the movie was violent on so many levels. Annie and I couldn’t wait for it to end. We had to sit through almost two hours of cruelty and heartless killings. Apparently, violence is now okay—after all, it won an Oscar!

Why was this horrendous movie the Academy Award winner for 2020? The whole time I was watching it, I thought, “No wonder we are a violent society!” Violence is the new norm.

Why should we as a society care when we hear that twenty children were murdered at an elementary school or eight people were wiped out by a disgruntled worker or ten youths committed suicide? We are now so hardened that violence is simply another ho-hum story. Yikes!

I also can’t believe that any Korean could tolerate his or her race being portrayed as the dregs of society. Parasite depicted Koreans as cheating, murdering, swindling, awful people. How can that be the message my Korean friends want me to believe?

The weekend before Annie and I watched Parasite, we saw Tom Hanks’s portrayal of Fred Rogers in It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. That film was wonderful! I even cried. Why wasn’t it the Academy Award winner for 2020 and the standard for our society?

We need agape, not violence, to be the new norm. What say you?


Image courtesy of r. nial bradshaw (CC BY 2.0)

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