Brilliant performance by Hank Azaria (Abraham) and a new tone in Hollywood comedies.
Circumcision of children has persisted because of the respect without question that is demanded by the big three patriarchal religions. The public until the advance of the internet has not had a forum to publicly criticize or even rationally discuss anything that has a veneer of “religious significance”.
This scene from the movie “Year One” compares with an innovative scene of revenge at a bris from an “Itchy and Scratchy” cartoon within “The Simpsons”. Although we don’t very often see an intactivist message within mainstream media, the scene from the Simpsons and to a degree the scene from “Year One” mark a new level.
Interestingly on the Wikipedia page for this movie the synopsis for the scene with Abraham read, “Zed and Oh (Jack Black and Michael Cera’s characters) head off for Sodom after Abraham offers to circumcise them.” OFFERS to circumcise them? Considering the way the scene plays out “offers” is a curiously tepid choice to describe Abraham’s irrational god driven lunacy.
The issue of circumcision is constantly censored or redefined in this manner by people who wish to soften the harsh fact, circumcision of children is a barbaric genital mutilation and religious adherence demands that it not be questioned.
This movie “Year One” had the guts to question and criticize religion in a satirical manner. I hope we see a great deal more of this sort of thing to help erode the paralysis of rational thought and discussion that religion and circumcision demand.
Hahaha! When I saw that movie I thought of you. Glad you found that clip. 🙂
There is also a scene in Robin Hood Men in Tights, where the rabbi is “offering” circumcision as the “new thing”. And he uses a guillotine (not sure if that is spelled right) and a carrot to demonstrate the procedure, and all the men look horror stricken. Then the Rabbi mumbles to himself “I need to work on a younger crowd”.
Just an interesting view point.
Be sure and watch the alternate ending on the DVD and blu-ray of Year One. It probably works better outside the movie because it seems to indicate that the destruction of Sodom in the ridiculous Bible story might have happened. However, it does contain another very good scene satirizing the absurdity of genital mutilation.
Thanks for the comments. James, it seems to me that, more and more, the notion of this act as complete barbarism is weaving its way into the tapestry of our culture. It’s showing up everywhere. The fact that you and others have held the line for so many years and been an unwavering stand for gentle treatment of babies has brought us to this place. I don’t tell you often enough how much I appreciate you and your work on behalf of children. I’m so grateful to have you as a friend and partner.
I went to see this film in the theaters when it first game out, despite the bad reviews, because I heard about this scene!
I think that the people who aren’t already intactivists problem didn’t think too deeply about this scene, unfortunately… but it is nice to see circumcision presented in such a way. I liked how later, when encountering a Eunuch, Michael Cera’s character wonders aloud, “What’s with all the genital mutilation?”
What a good question.
I’d also like to echo your comment, Gloria, in relation to James. You two are both incredibly inspirational! 😀 Thank you for leading the charge, and refusing to stand down. <3 Vancouver is lucky to have you.
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