The wide-spread terroristic attacks make the governments apply safety measures that are considered to be too radical by many people. This essay provides the definitions of the most frequently discussed unlawful processes by the US government and discusses if there is the necessity to use them on the example of Chris Nolan’s 2008 The Dark Knight film.
- Enhanced Interrogation
Enhanced interrogation techniques are the methods of getting the information from criminals, suspects or those who were planning to commit a crime in order to get the necessary information on the case by applying significant physical or/and psychological pressure (Miles, 2016).
The episode from the film The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan (2008), where the main character locks Joker (the villain) in a cell and beats him to get the truth, relate to this concept. Batman does this to stop attacks in the city since none of the previously tried methods worked (Nolan, 2008).
- Extraordinary Rendition
Extraordinary rendition is the process of the illegal but government-sponsored transfer of a detained person from one country to the other with the purpose of interrogation (Horowitz & Cammarano, 2013).
The above mentioned film episode with the illegal keeping the criminal in detention by Batman may also serve as he example of extraordinary rendition. The superhero makes the villain stay in the chosen place aiming to find out the information. Batman wants to keep Joker in the cell for as long as it is needed to interrogate him (Nolan, 2008).
- Domestic Surveillance
The US Government domestic surveillance program was designed after the terroristic attacks on September 11, 2001. Its main purpose is to reveal terroristic plots before the plans of attacks are implemented (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2012).
The main character of The Dark Knight takes similar measures to keep peace in the city. Batman checks every single phone to reveal the villains’ plans. Although such actions are unlawful, it is hard to judge this hero since he does this to protect the citizens of Gotham (Nolan, 2008). It is obvious that the superhero does not need anybody’s personal data for his own benefit or for fun (Nolan, 2008).
- The Problem of Dirty Hands
According to Calhoun (2004), ‘the problem of dirty hands’ refers to the political leaders’ necessity to obey or disregard moral principles while fulfilling their duties. In other words, the issue deals with the question of whether politicians should be forgiven for all their wrongdoings in the name of society’s wellbeing (preserving peace, for instance).
The main nnegative character of the movie engages Gotham’s citizens in a morality game connected with the ‘problem of dirty hands’. For instance, Joker makes them choose whether they would kill a man to save a big group of people or choose to blow up a ferry carrying innocent people or the one with convicts (Nolan, 2008).
The same game unfolds in Batman’s mind when he decides whether radical methods can be applied to stop terrorism in the city (Nolan, 2008).
- Political Allegory
Political allegory is the work of art whose plot tells the story which has a hidden political meaning (Astell, 1999). The Dark Knight is not only the film based on the comic book, it is also the story which reflects the events in the United States after September 11, 2001. Joker is the allegory for terrorists (he makes Gotham’s citizens feel fear all the time by sudden killing of big groups of people), whereas Batman is the embodiment of the US government (the character tries to take all the possible measures to save people, including the illegal ones such as enhanced interrogation and domestic surveillance) (Nolan, 2008).
To conclude with, The Dark Knight shows that sometimes it is necessary to sacrifice some of the moral principles to find those who harm society and stop them. The citizens of a country may put up with checking their personal data without permission for the sake of their own safety.