Dead Man Walking

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Dead Man Walking

The film “Dead Man Walking” is a film about redemption. The film is directed by Tim Robbins. Susan Sarandon plays a Nun called Sister Helen
Prejean. She is asked by a convicted murderer to get him a lawyer, and then later is asked to be his spiritual advisor. The convicted killer is named
Matthew Poncelet, and he is played by Sean Penn. The film is set in the
Angola state penitentiary, in Louisiana. Matthew Poncelet first asks her to get him a lawyer so he can repeal his Death sentence. Sister Helen gets him a lawyer, but they fail after several good attempts to get him off death row.
Sister Helen begins to come to him almost every day after Poncelet asks her to be his spiritual advisor on the day of his death. During this phase of the film Sister Helen tries to get Poncelet to tell her about his own life. Poncelet tells her about his life and why he was put on death row. Poncelet was convicted along with another man in the murder of the youth and a girl after raping the girl. Sister Helen is very sympathetic and is also looked down upon for this reason. Though she is repressed she still goes on helping
Poncelet and she digs around in his feelings and soul. Sister Helen eventually finds a good soul in Matthew Poncelet, a person no one else knows.
Matthew constantly denies to Sister Helen, himself, and to God that he had committed his horrible crime. Poncelet continues to blame his problems on other things such as his father dying early in his life, his drug use, his immaturity, and that he was unable to stand up to his partner in the brutal crime. Sister Helen urges Poncelet to come clean and face the part that he took in the crime. And at nearly the last minutes of the film he tells the truth. Though he tells the truth of his sin, he is still put to death by lethal injection. The purpose of this film, I believe, was to show that capital punishment is not right in all circumstances, but the redemption and preservation of the human soul being better. Tim Robbins tried to show how most people and even more accurate, Christian people tend to always want vengeance for a crime. Most of them have a line from the old testament committed to memory, “An eye for an eye,” is what they always want to say. But it really confuses me. To me that saying is not clear, if you think about it, i...

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...n church. I read the Bible, though not as much as I should, but the “Eye for an Eye part has always confused me. If the Bible states, “Thou shall not kill,” then why does it justify the killing of a person who has killed before. I believe that God loves all his children. If people are really followers of Christ, they will learn from him how to forgive people for their faults and mistakes during life. If the people in the film would have stopped and though what it would be like to be in
Poncelet’s shoes, maybe they would feel different about the death penalty.
He was in jail facing lethal injection. I’m sure if they thought about it they would not want to be killed, but then the people who Poncelet had killed did not have a choice, they had death forced on them. This film does a great job of showing both sides of the capitol punishment controversy. I can see how people think killing someone who has killed is a good thing. It keeps the person off the streets and from killing again. Though is it really justice?
I still believe that people can be evil, but people can also be cleansed. I believe this film has a dramatic point, and the purpose is pretty clear to anyone who may watch it.
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