Child Abuse In Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade

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Billy Bob Thornton’s Sling Blade is a brilliant Academy Award winning film that he not only directed himself, but was also the star actor. The movie was released in November of 1996 by Miramax Films, an American company known for independent and foreign films.1 Some other famous cast member includes country star Dwight Yoakam, and J.T. Walsh known from the film A Few Good Men. Sling Blade was an expansion of the short film that Billy had previously created called “Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade” featuring Molly Ringwald. Although Billy believes that the idea for this film originated from the creation of the character he created, Karl Childers. Sling Blade is about the redemption of Karl’s childhood and the social effects child abuse has on …show more content…
The film is more about how to deal with someone who has a mental disorder and gives you the directors perspective through his own experience. Thornton’s inspiration behind writing this script came from his experience working as a Recreation Director for a mental health facility.3 The director’s position on this issue is pretty clear in Sling Blade, as his biblical motives behind Karl’s character. Child abuse is obviously frowned upon in the Bible therefore in the film, Karl would be against it himself considering his own experiences with abuse. The argument presented in the film however is a very unique experience for the audience as they get to make their own opinion on what punishment is fair for Karl. This would be one of those situations where it would have to be decided on as this would be a very special case to handle. How do you punish someone who was abused as a child, mentally challenged and was only protecting themselves or another child? Karl morals are obviously skewed by his mental disability which leads him to murdering these abusers as he finds it justifies what he believes in. Most people would agree with what Karl did, but most of us wouldn’t murder another human being as that is against the law. If Karl had the intelligence and knowledge to properly prosecute the abusers, he may not have ended up in a mental institute nearly his entire life. However, some people would admire Karl for what he did, as is makes you wonder if evil is sometimes necessary in order to achieve good. That sometimes in order to do the right thing for another person may require you to do something wrong

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