Happy Birthday Heath Ledger

I do this to myself a lot:
Yesterday I went and saw Sin City with a couple of friends. And I left the movie feeling like I should have stayed and waited for the movie to finish. Don't take this the wrong way, I watched the whole movie, but it just felt like something was missing. Aside from huge amounts monochrome bodily fluids, vicious killings, scantily clad prostitutes, Mickey Rourke, and naked Karen Cisco, I liked the movie. The problem was that the movie alternated between nihilism and glorifying self sacrifice, literally. The movie is an interconnected series of short "character" studies. And the first and last end with the "hero's" making the choice to do what was "right" regardless of painful personal consequences. Wait, I don't really recommend that you see this movie, so I'll give away the actual ending. The hero's die. That is the painful consequence.

So anyway, the worldview of this movie is such that it is a rare occasion that an authority figure is "moral." Two of the main villains are a corrupt senator and his brother, a bishop. The senator uses his political clout to keep his son out of trouble, even though his son rapes, mutilates, and kills little girls. And the bishop has some kind of mutant-child disciple(played by Elijah Wood) with whom he kills and eats the flesh of prostitutes.

So, nihilism. But the hero's make the "right" decision, the one that the movie convinces us must be made in order for any kind of positive outcome, and then pay for it with their lives. But in a world where there is no virtue in authority, where God is never mentioned but everyone wears a cross of some kind, and the hero is the killer with the right motives, what is the point of self-sacrifice?

And as I pondered this, I understood what I felt was missing. Because I know the Truth, know the way the world actually works, and know WHO the real authority is, I was waiting for hope.
The hope of something better, which I think every character that we were supposed to empathise with, was evident in the movie. It was the hope of something wonderful, something we could never earn. Because if I were to make the right decision, even if it involved dying because of it, I have the knowledge that not only will justice truly be done in the end, but that it's not the end for me.

So while it may be tempting after seeing this movie to feel like you are living to some extent in Sin City, with Priests dishonoring God through their perversions, corruption rewarded, and the feeling that no matter what we do there will always be someone with more power who can bulldoze over us at a whim, the justice that is the central theme of this movie is already assured us. No matter what Authority, Principality, or Vice grips us in it's fist, there was already a misunderstood hero who made the right decision, even though it cost him His life. And everything else is just a poor imitation of Him, even if you don't realize it or intend it.

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