“The Trial” in “Ali” Is a Novel Interpretation of Kafka’s “The Trial”
The first of the two never-before-seen movies, “Ali,” is just now beginning to hit theaters. For the first time, viewers can see the highs and lows of the character of Khalid Masood. When a man in their mid-twenties goes out of his way to attack people on the streets of London, he shouldn’t be surprised that the entire world is watching.
But, the fact that “Harvey Litwin” was able to drive home his point was what made this film unique. Litwin portrays Masood as someone who was never motivated by the political side of his life but rather was driven by a violent fantasy that he couldn’t tell anyone about or, that he had become. When you were in college, “Punch Drunk” may have been the movie you saw in class, but it wasn’t the movie that played in your head when you were at work.
In fact, when you read Kafka’s “The Trial,” there’s a scene in which the narrator comes face to face with his own violent fantasies. Masood became so consumed with the hatred of terrorism that he wanted to do things that made him the most hated man on the planet. When he got his wish, there was no doubt that he would execute the mass murder he wanted to commit.
However, as Kafka told his story in his first original work, he never actually intended that he would one day find himself sitting in a court room of judges and juries. He believed his reality was entirely fictional. However, as he struggled to come to grips with the reality of his own life, he started to realize that he wanted to live in a world where the only people who could be killed were those who gave rise to terror.
Masood wasn’t completely motivated by the violent fantasies that are fueling these attacks; he was more driven by a fear of Muslims. To get a feeling for that kind of fear, just go to any mall and watch how many Muslims you see. The anti-Muslim rhetoric is often so strong that it can drive the most ardent of Americans to attack innocent Americans.
To help better understand what makes some people want to take the lives of innocent people, consider the story of how the FBI first got on the trail of the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Even after a long investigation, McVeigh was never able to tell the FBI anything about his radicalized Christian beliefs.
With the connection between law enforcement and the Muslim community, such as Masood, being so important, why is it that they often struggle to build that relationship? In reality, the American media doesn’t portray the people from Muslim communities in the best light either. Because of the negative publicity that some politicians and the media have given to some of our more outspoken citizens, those from that community often feel threatened.
As the investigation continues into this terrorist group, hopefully the true terrorists will be brought to justice. But as is the case with these terrorist groups, there is always a chance that they won’t be. If we can learn from the mistakes of the past, we can ensure that the future does not repeat them.
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