Dustin Hoffman's character in Straw Dogs (1971) is not a pacifist. If director Sam Peckinpah was trying to set up a conflict between David's values and the violent world in which he found himself, he does a terrible job of establishing David's values as any thing more than "conflict-avoidant" which is not the same thing as pacifistic. Since Pat and I really are pacifists, this distinction plays a central role in our response to the famously violent film. It doesn't help that the violent world -- where the long arm of the law is broken and religion and sleight-of-hand magic are one in the same, where a Batman villain is a peripheral character -- is a bit unrealistic. But then again, maybe that's just wishful thinking one the part of us two idealists.
All that, though, and we still really did like it.
(A warning for this episode: not only is this an extremely violent film, but it also contains a very controversial rape scene, which we discuss.)
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