Haneke, Moral Violence and Morbid Curiosity

Damian Cox, Michael P. Levine

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This paper contrasts two forms of violence depicted in film: entertainment violence and moral violence. To a first approximation, moral violence is a form of interpersonal aggression aimed at causing moral injury. We claim that what distinguishes entertainment violence from moral violence is that entertainment violence is a satisfying or fitting object of morbid curiosity. Moral violence
typically isn’t such a thing. We explore how moral violence works in two films of Michael Haneke: Funny Games (1997, 2007) and The White Ribbon (2009).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalPhilosophical Journal of Conflict and Violence
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


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