Government Ignorance In 12 Angry Men

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In these two critically-acclaimed movies, government ignorance is explored in distinct ways. In 12 Angry Men, a jury of 12 men is sent to determine the fate of an 18-year-old slum-raised Latino boy accused of stabbing his father to death. A guilty verdict means an automatic death sentence. In Beasts of the Southern Wild we are taken on an adventure alongside Hushpuppy, an African-American six-year old, who lives on a poverty-stricken island called the Bathtub and whose father’s tough love prepares her for a harsh world. As completely opposite as these two perspectives seem, each represents opposing sides of social injustice and ultimately deliver similar messages. In 12 Angry Men, the movie begins in a courtroom where the case is being discussed by the judge, who seems fairly uninterested. The jurors…show more content…
Another interesting aspect of this 1957 film is the “reverse prejudice” portrayed by juror 8, who is initially sympathetic to the accused, not because of the evidence, but because he pitied his poor and troubled upbringing. This “reverse prejudice” is tested when Juror 6 says, “Suppose you talk us outta this and the kid really did knife his father?” This is something that would create an outcome that is short of justice. This perspective also becomes a reoccurring factor in both movies. In Beasts of the Southern Wild, Hushpuppy lives on a poverty-stricken island called the Bathtub that is located just outside the city of New Orleans on the other side of a levee that separates the city’s utopia from what is seen as a dystopia (the Bathtub). The Bathtub is off the grid, a place where state or federal government is remote. This movie is said to represent the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by many movie critics, when both the government and FEMA shut their eyes to the devastating situation and left the survivors (most of them being African-Americans) to fend for themselves. This was a product of both the government’s ignorance and the incompetence of FEMA’s
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