The Dark Knight

Todd Walters reports on justice, rebellion and random acts of violence in Gotham City.

Most morality tales depict a simple world where a clearly defined struggle between good and evil plays out, where recognizably good values do not conflict with one another, and where the unjust are punished and the righteous rewarded. This Manichaean structure underlies most superhero narratives – the thème du jour on the silver screen. Take recent films such as Spider-Man and Superman Returns, for example. Although they dazzle us with special effects and provide a means of escape from our harsh realm of reality, these pictures are morally uncomplicated. They may entertain, but they do not provoke.

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