In the book of Esther there is violence: the hanging of Haman and his sons and more, "...in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men (Esther 9:6)," not to mention the implied violence in the Biblical statement by God that we read in the synagogue the day before to wit, "...that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
Back to our question: Who is right? Is film violence kosher? Can our kids safely consume it?
The case can be made on both sides of this issue. In January 2013, the Atlantic ran a piece on the subject which collects the opinions of ten film directors, "'There's Violence in the Bible': Famous Directors on Violence in Film." The context of the article was set like this:
The Internet has been abuzz recently about Quentin Tarantino's explosive interview with a British journalist for Channel 4, in which the director snapped after being asked why he didn't think film violence and real violence were connected. "Don't ask me questions like that. I'm not biting. I refuse your question," he retorted. "I'm not your slave and you're not my master. You can't make me dance to your tune. I'm not your monkey." Though he goes somewhat off the handle, Tarantino is right about one thing—he has been asked about violence quite a bit. And so have many other directors that use it in their films. Below, I've collected a few of their answers, which range from quippy to sincere, to get a better view of how violent Hollywood views itself.See the article here. The bible comparison in the essay's title appears in an interview with Stanley Kubrick that started out, "There has always been violence in art. There is violence in the Bible, violence in Homer, violence in Shakespeare, and many psychiatrists believe that it serves as a catharsis rather than a model."
We find Kubrick's opinions to be eloquent. The excerpt from him concludes:
The simplistic notion that films and TV can transform an otherwise innocent and good person into a criminal has strong overtones of the Salem witch trials. This notion is further encouraged by the criminals and their lawyers who hope for mitigation through this excuse. I am also surprised at the extremely illogical distinction that is so often drawn between harmful violence and the so-called harmless violence of, say, Tom and Jerry cartoons or James Bond movies, where often sadistic violence is presented as unadulterated fun. I hasten to say, I don’t think that they contribute to violence either. Films and TV are also convenient whipping boys for politicians because they allow them to look away from the social and economic causes of crime, about which they are either unwilling or unable to do anything.”The full Kubrick interview (c. 1982) is here.