Tonight my friends Fabien, Craig and I rented Inglourious Basterds, the latest Quentin Tarantino film. Although I am somewhat a fan of Tarantino and could appreciate many elements in the film, overall I found the premise to be repulsive. What is it about this Tarantino film that bothers me so much more than others? I suppose that the violence in his other films is more cartoon like, not based in history, and easier to accept as comic book. This film is set in a kind of alternate reality version of WWII, in occupied France. It tells the story of a Jewish advance strike force that kills (and scalps) Nazis, striking terror into them (supposedly the same terror struck by the Nazis into others). While it might be an emotionally satisfying movie for teenage boys or those that feel intense impotence in the face of the atrocities of history, I found its glorification of violent vengeance to be repugnant. Call me a pacifist, but I do believe that violence only leads to more violence. I do believe that adopting the worst atrocities and actions of one’s enemies only makes one like them. I’m sure those that condone torture and capital punishment thought this film was just a stitch. Wallowing in this kind of revenge fantasy, even while knowing it is a fantasy, encourages the worst, basest elements in human nature. It cheapens the true horrors that happen all over the world, and mocks decency.