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Dead Man Walking

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During the first few weeks of our FYS-X class, the students are required to view the movie “Dead Man Walking. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it to the showing at school, but I rented the DVD from Block Buster Video. I missed an opportunity to gain some bonding time with my classmates, but I could not get off work in the short notice that the class was told about the film viewing. When I viewed film, I had the pleasure of being in my home atmosphere, and I had the opportunity to better concentrate on the movie and the ability to rewind at certain points in the film. Before viewing the film, I was not too excited about having to watch it. I was under the impression that this movie would be boring and more of an educational video. After I watched the movie, I knew that my prediction about it was very inaccurate. “Dead Man Walking” is one of the finest films I have ever seen, and it has raised my bar of standards for a drama.

The thing that stands out the most about “Dead Man Walking” is the story. The film is about the death penalty, and the tragic events that lead to it. The story follows Poncelot, a convicted killer, and Helen, a nun, who meet during Poncelot’s death row period, and they both change each other. Poncelot is accused of killing a young couple, and is placed on death row. He writes to Sister Helen, who agrees to come to the prison and visit him. Poncelot immediately says he did not commit the crime, and Helen believes the prisoner. Helen gets Poncelot an attorney, but the attorney fails and Poncelot is sure to be executed by the government. The film does not state a clear bias for the death penalty, but it gives the viewer the chance to decide if capital punishment is right or wrong. At the beginning of the film, the viewer is lead to believe that maybe Poncelot did not actually commit the crime, so someone might believe that his execution would be unfair. During the course of the film, the viewer sees the affects of the victim’s family and the community reactions, and whoever is watching probably feels that whoever actually committed the crime should definitely be punished as harshly as possible.

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