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Lenten Special - The Seven Deadly Sins on film

As we enter the penitential season of Lent, we will be reflecting upon the ‘seven deadly sins’ by relating each of them to a film. To begin, we look at the powerful thriller Seven, examine the history of the deadly sins and ask what accounts for their perennial attraction.

Nicholas Austin SJ

Nicholas Austin SJ

Updated: February 21, 2012 05:29 AM GMT
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Lenten Special - The Seven Deadly Sins on film
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What accounts for the perduring fascination of the seven deadly sins? Pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth: throughout the ages, this list of vices has occupied and preoccupied theologians and philosophers, pastors and penitents. These twisted qualities of our characters have captivated the imagination of great poets and playwrights. They have even occasioned T-shirt designs and product names. What is the reason for our permanent love/hate relationship with these seven capital vices? Of all the recent portrayals, one of the most compelling and unsettling has been the film Seven (1995). Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, in equally forceful performances, play Somerset and Mills, homicide detectives who find themselves drawn involuntarily into a horror beyond their capacity to comprehend. (continued...) With growing disgust, this unlikely pairing of impulsive, ambitious young cop and his worn, about-to-retire colleague and mentor are witnesses to a series of disconcertingly systematic and sadistic murders, each representing one of the seven deadly sins. An obese man is forced to eat himself to death, manifesting the sin of gluttony; an unscrupulous defence lawyer bleeds to death after being compelled to cut away a pound of his own flesh: greed. And so on, until there are only two sins left: wrath and envy. Full Story: The Seven Deadly Sins Source: Thinking Faith

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