The Dark Knight Rises, the last and final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, packs a serious punch. For almost three hours audiences are held captivated by the reluctant return of the Caped Crusader to save Gotham City from a neo-fascist Nemesis in the guise of the megalomaniacal Bane. The political subtexts are not standard Hollywood fodder.
Nolan not only fesses up to the corruption at the heart of the otherwise civilized veneer of modern liberal Democracy, he also tackles head-on themes such as the inevitable compromise and capitulation to following orders intrinsic to carrying out state sanctioned authority, and ultimately, the darker impulses that may lay at the heart of the nuclear industries push into promoting itself as the clean energy solution of the future.
It is on this second score that The Dark Knight is at its most prescient, timely and cutting. One of the major arms of the Wayne Empire’s commercial interests is in developing Nuclear Fusion energy – the silver bullet often touted by the real world nuclear industry as the answer to the impending climate change crisis.
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James Holmes, the alleged gunman in the Colorado shooting massacre, will be formally charged with multiple counts of first degree murder this week.
Prosecutors, in consultation with the victims’ families, must then decide whether to seek the death penalty.
They should not. Killing Holmes will not bring back the victims of this atrocity. His state-sanctioned death would merely perpetuate a reckless, ineffective and immoral method of punishment.
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Why is Batman important to me? I was going to write this piece before the tragic events in America, and I think it’s still worth sharing some thoughts on why so many people crammed into cinemas worldwide this weekend.
I was introduced to Batman on the same day my brother was born. When I was four and my father was driving like crazy to get my mother to hospital in time to give birth to my brother, I was carted off to a relative’s house, sat in front of the television and told to watch whatever I wanted.
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