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Leonardo DiCaprio and Revenge Stories

Revenant, a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, tells the apparently true story of Hugh Glass (played by DiCaprio), a fur trapper who is attacked and severely wounded by a Grizzly Bear while hunting on the Western Frontier. His friends intentionally leave him for dead and then murder Glass' son before his eyes. According to the film's version of the story, Glass emerges from his grave and treks 80 miles on foot to hunt down and kill the men who betrayed him. But according to film blogger Michael Punke, in the real historical story Glass travels all that way and then ends up forgiving his betrayers. Punke claims that the forgiveness narrative would be way too boring for Hollywood. As Julian Brooks says on the Mockingbird blog, "Is forgiveness too boring for Hollywood? It is understandable that Glass would want to avenge the death of his son and his own betrayal. … Who could really forgive in that situation? Those men deserved to die. And nothing is more compelling for us than vengeance. … Forgiveness on the big screen is apparently no match for [retaliation]. It's just too anti-climactic."

Possible Preaching Angle:

Too bad. Personally, I'm a sucker for the high drama in forgiveness stories.


Michael Punke, “The Revenant (2015),” History vs Hollywood (n.d.); Julian Brooks, “Previewing The Revenant: Justice vs. Mercy on the Western Frontier,” Mockingbird (1-5-16)

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