Below is a clip from “Bobby” (2006), written and directed by Emilio Estevez, whose illustrious writing/directing credits include the classic “Men at Work” (1990, and not coincidentally the last film he wrote/directed).
The entire film takes place in Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel on the day on which RFK was assassinated. It is actually quite a good movie and deals with pertinent and timely issues, including race, war, marriage, poverty, addiction, etc… In some ways, it feels like what “Crash” (2004) tried and, in my opinion, failed to be and do.
There’s a lot in the clip, but what is most interesting to me (wait for it – it really gets going around the 2-minute mark) is the way in which it portrays how love & passivity, as opposed to anger and aggression, are the keys to life and anything that could be termed “progress,” both individually and collectively. Laurence Fishburne plays a very Jesus-like figure, a man who has clearly “been around the block” a few times, who is acquainted with sorrows & grief, who has walked the path of anger and been “killed” by it. He has come to understand that substantive change only occurs in an environment where grace and freedom reign and that any attempt to, in his words, “force it” or “push someone into a corner” will only lead to the opposite of what is desired. In other words, anger and aggression only arouse rebellion, while love gives birth to love, and this holds true for those who are at the “bottom” as well as the “top”. At the end of the clip, we see this idea depicted in a powerful, uncomfortable way as Fishburne’s character graciously, passively allows himself to be humiliated by those in power over him.
As a final thought, this clip may contain a compelling response to the Nietzschian contention of Robert Zemeckis’ “Beowulf” (2007) that Christianity killed heroism, aka masculinity. More on that later (perhaps:)…