Rising from Tragedy: A Lesson from The Dark Knight Rises

Lakeidra Chavis/Sun Star Reporter
August 16, 2012

Batman logo by Slideshow Bruce on flickr. Picture used under a creative commons license.

The success of the Dark Knight Rises was expected. The shooting during the midnight showing of the film in Aurora, Colo. on July 21 was not. Nearly a month has passed since the massacre, and I think a few lessons can be taken from the Dark Knight in this time of mourning.

The Dark Knight Rises is the third and final film in the Batman trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale reprises his role as Batman. Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Cillian Murphy reprise their roles as well. The film introduces to new characters like Catwoman, Bane, Miranda Tate and Robin John Blake.

The film has its slow moments. It begins 8 years after the the second film, The Dark Knight, ended. Bruce Wayne has aged, is weak and has put up the cape for good.  Or so he believes. However, a new criminal puts the city of Gotham in panic. This criminal is Bane. Bane is a terrorist who was excommunicated from The League of Shadows, the same organization that trained Bruce Wayne as Batman.  Intelligent and strong, Bane is an opposite of Batman but an equal in combat and intellect. He is the only villain in the entire trilogy that is able to break Batman, literally.

Bane defeating Batman is a low moment in the film. It was a moment that I wasn’t expecting. No one wants to see their hero broken because heroes symbolize hope, courage and strength. In the aftermath of the massacre, I think that the families, the survivors and the community of Aurora, CO will have to look within themselves to find the hero needed in this tragedy. In real life, there is no masked superhero to combat the bad guy and save the world. In reality, we only have ourselves, our families and our communities. The qualities that make Bruce Wayne such a memorable superhero can be found in the human spirit. Resilience, compassion and forgiveness are not rare traits that can only be witnessed on the big screen. They are undoubtedly human and better than any black cape and bat-mobile Hollywood can create.

At the beginning of Batman, we see a weak Bruce Wayne that is a shadow of his former self. As the film progresses we see an aged man turn into the hero he was in the first two films. In this time of grief, it is important for the survivors and families of the victims not to give up hope, but to see light in spite of the devastating tragedy that has consumed the nation. This journey can be symbolized by The Pit. In the film, The Pit is a prison that Bane and Tahlia al Ghul escapes. The dangerous conditions of the prison are unbearable. The the only source of sunlight and escape is a tunnel to the world above. Although many men have tried to escape The Pit, only one person has succeeded. However, Wayne is able to succeed the treacherous climb after months of unsuccessful attempts. The journey to overcome this disaster that has affected these individuals will be just as long and difficult.  If successful, I think the product of this journey will be strength and happiness.

Lives have been are broken, loved ones are lost and in this time, it is important to remember the victims of this tragedy more than anything. To escape The Pit that this massacre has created will take many attempts over the span of months, years and decades. It is crucial to remember that no matter how low we fall, there is always an opportunity for resilience, for justice and most importantly, to rise.

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1 Response

  1. Ron says:

    I don’t see where the film has it’s slow moments, it’s almost 3 hours long and doesn’t feel it all, but then I was 100% totally invested in the film since I loved the first 2 movies.

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