This paper tackles the topic of violence in films over different time periods and how these films differ. Each film is discussed using the theoretical perspectives of how violence occurs in a society.
The film industry has many types of films or genres, and one of these is the gangster or criminal movies which portray the lives and exploits of criminals. These portrayals can often be too realistic for comfort although films which depict violence continue to enjoy its popularity. In this paper, the two films being considered for discussion are the “Gangs of New York” and also “There will Be Blood” in which the former was made in 2002 but the time period of the film was in 1863 while the latter film was made later in 2007 and its time setting was in 1902. It is just a mere coincidence the two selected films featured the same actor, Daniel Day-Lewis.
This paper adopts the theoretical perspective of differential association theory in terms of explaining the violence in these two films. This particular theory best explains and is thought to be the most credible or realistic among several theories propounded regarding crime causation. Other theories may explain deviant behaviors in society but the differential association theory is right on the dot on why people commit crimes, which is due to their learned behavior.
This theory states that people commit crimes because of their association with criminals via social interactions with these criminals, in which crimes are not viewed as inherently evil. In the film “Gangs of New York” the main protagonists learned how to be violent due to their prior associations with crime leaders. Bill Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) learned to be violent to enforce leadership of a crime gang under his mentor, Boss Tweed. On the other hand, Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) also learned to be violent due to his association with some underworld and unsavory characters, namely the former allies of his murdered