Sunday, 7 April 2013

Another Anti Catholic Film? Or Not?

Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland
I watched an interesting film earlier entitled The Experiment, starring the brilliant actor Forest Whitaker (superb in The Last King of Scotland). The basic synopsis is that a group of people needing money are put in prison conditions to conduct an experiment and they quickly revert to type. The prisoners revolt, the guards become vicious etc.

I won't go into the pro's and con's of the film (rated 15). It is interesting, but has many holes in the idea, not least that they wouldn't all just grit their teeth, get by for 14 days and pick up their money.

Anyway, at the beginning we are introduced to some of the main characters. Forest Whitaker himself is seen in his home with religious iconography, not least a picture of the Sacred Heart near the TV. Straight away I turned to the family members watching it and told them that he would be the "baddie" and would turn out to be sadistic.

So it turned out. Why is it Catholics in Hollywood films usually turn out to be corrupt, evil, violent... In the 50s the good guys wore white Stetsons and the bad guys wore black Stetsons. It seems it's only in a minority of films now (ironically some classic horrors) that Catholicism is good and the baddies are classic baddies.

I know life isn't straight-forward and I like a film with twists and turns as much as the next chap. And I know Catholics can go bad (e.g. Martin Luther or Robert Mugabe), but I do get a little fed up when a main evil character is given the back story of being Catholic as a way to knock Catholicism.

Or am I just being uber sensitive?

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't take it personally, I think that America just hates anything that is not quintessentially "American" (whatever that means) even better, anything that is not typically WASP.
    In the past, most Hollywood villains used to be Russians or Asians now they tend to be MIddle Eastern/Arabs but there is something that hasn't changed; there have always been and will be British villains.
    God Bless you and your blog!