The End of Violence


In this fascinating story, German filmmaker Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas; Wings of Desire) muses on the nature of violence in American society. Our man Bill plays Mike Max, a movie producer who makes particularly violent films. One night, he becomes the victim of a violent act, but escapes by apparently killing his would-be murderers. Shaken by this experience, Mike disappears from his opulent life by staying with a Mexican family of gardeners, the ones who tend the yard of his house.

In a parallel subplot, Gabriel Byrne plays Ray, a computer expert who is involved in a secret government or corporate project to install surveillance cameras around Los Angeles to in order to catch persons committing acts of violence on tape. He and Mike are related by a secret e-mail message Ray sent to Mike which the "powers that be" have discovered. Ray is assisted by a young Guatemalan mother, a victim of political torture.

Loren Dean plays a young police detective, a big fan of Mike Max films, who investigates Mike's disappearance. He meets and falls for Cat, a stunt woman injured in one of Mike's films.

All of these characters are linked by acts of violence, either real or fictional. Mike shows the most profound change by renouncing his life and violence as an art form; he tries to convince those in his life to renounce violence as well.

Though Wenders has denied that End of Violence has a deeper message about the pervasiveness of violence, the film does present a thought provoking story about how violence, as art or reality, changes lives, for better or worse.

Rated R--for language and a scene with Andie MacDowell in her undies. There are no violent scenes, save for one.

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