- Fear. Absence of love. Emotional revenge.
Lately, while watching Wender's movie The End of violence, something broke in me when I heard the very first lines of the dialogue later recurring in the movie like an echo: "Define violence." I have realized the sad fact that people often talk about apparently obvious concepts like love, justice, violence, etc. without really being able to define them. Or rather they USE them. I guess it is a better word in the contemporary consumer society that we are living in. We buy, we use and we through away. Again and again. By no coincidence, I often ask people to define different concepts, because I have realized that, depending on the way they are used, they can become means of both manipulation and violence. I believe we should also ask the same of ourselves: "Define it."
People often act violently, though they cannot really explain neither the source nor the very nature of their violent behavior. Not to mention that they are often unable to recognize and judge their actions as violent on the very moment of acting violent. In Poland, we often say "zaślepiła go/ją złość" which literally means "anger blinded him/her" or "he/she was blinded by anger," which suggests that we are not fully controlling our actions, because some closely unidentified force deprives us of a clear point of view. And here we come to the very conclusion that Wim Wenders put so nicely and simply in his film. Fear, absence of love, emotional revenge. The three violent muses.
In The End of Violence Wenders tells a story of Mike Max, a high-powered film producer preoccupied with his work to the extent that computers and phones he uses to communicate with his business associates become also means of communication with his closest relatives. Soon his alienation takes an even more literal character, when he almost becomes the victim of an assasination attempt. He happens to miraculously escape his tragic fate and finds shelter with a family of Mexican-American laborers. Only then, cut away from his everyday reality, he manages to take a look on his own life from a wider perspective and starts to realize simple facts not only about his own life but also that of the city and the people around him. Facts that he failed to before.
“I still love my wife. So much. I always did. Even when I made her suffer... on purpose... for long periods of time... and enjoyed it perversely. Perversly. That's one thing I think I can DEFINE now. It's when things are upside down and you start to like them that way,”
confesses Max in a moment of reflexion. It does not matter that it is too late to bring the past order back. What matters is the fact that Max acknowledged and accepted the irreversability of certain processes, what made him accept the loss, but also made it easier for him to start his life from the beginning with a clean sheet.
To be continued...