Mudbound and Get Out: Right-Feeling or Repentance?

In my over ten years of teaching literature, I’ve come to expect that stories about racism elicit a certain response from certain students. If it’s a piece like Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye or even Octavia Butler’s Kindred, then white students will respond with sympathy. Their discussions will signal that racism is bad and they…

The Avengers and a Demand for Grace

I know this is a weird statement, given the team’s name, but all four of the Avengers movies have a surprising central theme: forgiveness. In each case, characters who are used to doing things by themselves find themselves putting up with other big egos. The central tension in these movies isn’t so much their battles…

Review: You Were Never Really Here Makes Action Movie Misogyny Explicit

The plot description for You Were Never Really Here suggests a familiar type or action movie, one starring Charles Bronson or maybe Liam Neeson: working as a hired gun who rescues exploited young girls and punishes their kidnappers, ex-soldier/FBI agent Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) gets entangled in a conspiracy involving powerful politicians. Reading that synopsis, audiences…