Bizarre Lectures on Parenting

I’ve recently been engaged in a brief discussion with someone about a particular film, Titan AE. It’s wasn’t a particularly memorable film in my book, not terrible, but not especially good either. It might score 7/10 in a pinch, but only in a pinch.

I digress. The discussion concerns whether Titan AE can be regarded as a violent film. After all, it features earth being destroyed, which would involve the deaths of billions.

If examined from a military POV, yes, the act of destroying a planet is violent. This is not however, how film makers and raters define violence. There is no disemboweling, beheading or limb chopping. No is being burned alive, or tortured or raped.

(Film are also defined by nudity and language, but that’s rather by and by in this instance).

There is also the necessary distinction between the outlandish sci-fi setting of Titan AE and it’s fantastical technology, and realistic or true stories which involve genuine consequences (such as WWII stories). One is the portrayal of unrealistic events in an unrealistic setting and the other is something far more relatable. The authorities that rate films take this sort of thing into consideration.

There is the argument that the bad guys in Titan AE act for no good reason when they destroy earth. I disagree. Whatever claims the Drej make about being invincible are just that – claims. The events of the film demonstrate they are vulnerable and it’s established that the Titan Project was seen by the Drej as a potentially significant threat to them. To the Drej, a first strike policy is the best defence.

Now to quote directly from this discussion:

Are you out of your mind?  Titan A.E. should have been rated at least PG-13 instead of the PG rating it got.  If I were a dad, I would not only bar my kids form watching such a movie, but also teach them to despise Titan A.E. for its incredible and sometimes “clean war”-style barbarism.  I would not let my children play with war had I been a father.

The big thing here is simply that I would not restrict my daughter so unnecessarily, and I wouldn’t encourage her to hate things at all, let alone to the point of such enduring hate and fixation on a movie. I think I know which premise is more psychologically harmful in the long term.


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