(Spoiler Alert) I recently saw Heaven (2002), a film which seems newly relevant in light of the Russian search for â€œblack widowâ€� bombers. The movie stars Cate Blanchett as a British teacher, Philippa, whose bomb intended for a Turin drug lord kills four innocent people.
While she is instantly branded a terrorist, police cadet Filippo (Giovanni Ribisi) is smitten with her and aids in her escape and subsequent assassination of the drug kingpin.
The film gives cursory attention to the details of police corruption and how the drug lord contributed to the death of Philippaâ€™s husband and schoolchildren.
However, the thrust of the film is the angelic portrayal of Philippa and Filippo. Philippa seems purged of guilt through stages of confession and mortification, and the couple flee to an idyllic countryside where they ascend to â€œheavenâ€� as they escape in a helicopter.
Filippoâ€™s decision to throw his career away for the sake of Philippa seems like many an Islamic martyr who is willing to sacrifice all to attain his virgins in heaven. The beautifully focused mating of the couple under a tree seems almost sacred, in contrast to the vulgar coupling of a milkman and his mistress they accidentally witness.
The bomb explosion in the skyscraper and the ascent to heaven in an aircraft are subtle if unintended echoes of Nine Eleven. In the end, the love between Phiippa and Filippo and their â€œgentle nihilismâ€� seem to transcend the acts of terror.
Religion in TV, Movies, Books, etc.
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