My interpretation of the socio-political themes.

The 2012 superhero epic about Batman's struggle to overcome the terrorist leader Bane, as well as his own inner demons.
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Posts: 48
Joined: September 2012
Regarding the politics of TDKR, I interpret it as Classically Liberal, or Libertarian film.

Bane seems to be a Marxist-esque Revolutionary, similar to Che Guevara, seducing the people of Gotham (particularly the lower/middle classes) with collectivist rhetoric, to revolt against the higher classes, and to take the city back for themselves, as it belongs to 'the people'.

So Bane's rhetoric does seem to parallel Marxism, as he wants to...

a) Smash the state

b) Eat the rich

c) Make everyone 'equal'

d) Give Gotham to 'the people', so it belongs to everyone (destruction of private property)

It seems that Nolan predicted the 'Occupy' movement that happened across America, which had similar values (although not as radical, and sometimes convoluted and confused in its message).

However, what makes Bane's intentions interesting is his understanding of its purpose, as he concedes in the Pit, "I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to "stay in the sun."

Bane knows that this society for which he has created in Gotham is unsustainable, and will find that the people themselves will destroy each other, before the bomb is even necessary. However, the bomb still has its designated time for which to explode, and this bomb is very much a metaphor for the inevitable result of such a Marxist society... destruction... it is like a "ticking time bomb" so to speak.

However, while this seems to critique Marxism, this does not mean that the film panders to the 'status quo' of America's statism, it is not so black-and-white.

This theme can be seen in the characters of Gordon and John Blake, two good cops that are part of a system that undermines justice, it is corrupt, and they come to realize this.

As this dialogue between Gordon and Blake suggests...

John Blake: Those men locked up for eight years in Blackgate, and denied parole under the Dent Act, based on a lie?

Jim Gordon: Gotham needed a hero...

John Blake: It needs it now more than ever. You betrayed everything you stood for.

Jim Gordon: There's a point, far out there when the structures fail you, and the rules aren't weapons anymore, they're... shackles letting the bad guy get ahead. One day... you may face such a moment of crisis. And in that moment, I hope you have a friend like I did, to plunge their hands into the filth so that you can keep yours clean!

John Blake: Your hands look plenty filthy to me, Commissioner.


This is in reference to the Dent Act, which essentially turned Gotham into a police state, founded upon a lie. Gordon was frustrated with this lie, and this is seen with his struggle to come to grips with his own inclusion in it. He has succumbed to the corrupt system.

Bruce has been a recluse for 8 years, hiding within the walls of his home, because no one seemed to need Batman anymore, they just relied on the state to 'protect' them. I see Bruce's 'imprisonment' within his home as a parallel to the 'imprisonment' of Gotham's people within the walls of the state.

As Bruce says in Batman Begins, "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy". The people of Gotham had become apathetic.

Batman represents personal responsibility, not reliance, not cowardice. Bruce gave up, and hid away in his home. Gotham gave up, and relied on the state. Personal responsibility gave up.

At the end of this whole debacle, we see a tattered American flag, and a 'civil war' of sorts between the 'state' and 'the people' (whom have been taken in by Bane's Marxist philosophy), while Batman, Gordon, and Blake are caught in the middle of this war.

Bruce ends his term as Batman, Gordon ends up resigning, and John Blake quits the force (he throws away his badge in frustration). Blake no longer wants to be part of such a system, one that undermines liberty, and justice. He sees the state for what it truly is... servitude.

So while Bane was right in that the state (Gotham) is corrupt, and that injustice is prevalent within it, his intentions and solution were no better.

"You were right, about the structures becoming shackles, and I can't take it... the injustice."

Blake, on the other hand, understands what is needed, he understands that individual liberty is what is most important. He takes up the role of 'Batman' (personal responsibility), and RISES, as an individual, taking actions into his own hands; not because he must, but because he can.

Posts: 476
Joined: March 2011
Politically I think Nolan hit on both sides of the fence and showed the extremes of both sides (right and left), and how both are prone to corruption. There's a good article out there where Nolan talks about the political aspects (or lack thereof) of the film.

edit: And here it is: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news ... l-20120720

Posts: 48
Joined: September 2012
stanley wrote:Politically I think Nolan hit on both sides of the fence and showed the extremes of both sides (right and left), and how both are prone to corruption. There's a good article out there where Nolan talks about the political aspects (or lack thereof) of the film.

edit: And here it is: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news ... l-20120720
One commenter brought up a relevant piece of dialogue from the film, when they are ransacking a home, Catwoman says"This was someone's home." To which her friend responds, "Now its everyone's home."

Posts: 4152
Joined: January 2012
ancap27 wrote:Regarding the politics of TDKR, I interpret it as Classically Liberal, or Libertarian film.

Bane seems to be a Marxist-esque Revolutionary, similar to Che Guevara, seducing the people of Gotham (particularly the lower/middle classes) with collectivist rhetoric, to revolt against the higher classes, and to take the city back for themselves, as it belongs to 'the people'.

So Bane's rhetoric does seem to parallel Marxism, as he wants to...

a) Smash the state

b) Eat the rich

c) Make everyone 'equal'

d) Give Gotham to 'the people', so it belongs to everyone (destruction of private property)

It seems that Nolan predicted the 'Occupy' movement that happened across America, which had similar values (although not as radical, and sometimes convoluted and confused in its message).

However, what makes Bane's intentions interesting is his understanding of its purpose, as he concedes in the Pit, "I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to "stay in the sun."

Bane knows that this society for which he has created in Gotham is unsustainable, and will find that the people themselves will destroy each other, before the bomb is even necessary. However, the bomb still has its designated time for which to explode, and this bomb is very much a metaphor for the inevitable result of such a Marxist society... destruction... it is like a "ticking time bomb" so to speak.

However, while this seems to critique Marxism, this does not mean that the film panders to the 'status quo' of America's statism, it is not so black-and-white.

This theme can be seen in the characters of Gordon and John Blake, two good cops that are part of a system that undermines justice, it is corrupt, and they come to realize this.

As this dialogue between Gordon and Blake suggests...

John Blake: Those men locked up for eight years in Blackgate, and denied parole under the Dent Act, based on a lie?

Jim Gordon: Gotham needed a hero...

John Blake: It needs it now more than ever. You betrayed everything you stood for.

Jim Gordon: There's a point, far out there when the structures fail you, and the rules aren't weapons anymore, they're... shackles letting the bad guy get ahead. One day... you may face such a moment of crisis. And in that moment, I hope you have a friend like I did, to plunge their hands into the filth so that you can keep yours clean!

John Blake: Your hands look plenty filthy to me, Commissioner.


This is in reference to the Dent Act, which essentially turned Gotham into a police state, founded upon a lie. Gordon was frustrated with this lie, and this is seen with his struggle to come to grips with his own inclusion in it. He has succumbed to the corrupt system.

Bruce has been a recluse for 8 years, hiding within the walls of his home, because no one seemed to need Batman anymore, they just relied on the state to 'protect' them. I see Bruce's 'imprisonment' within his home as a parallel to the 'imprisonment' of Gotham's people within the walls of the state.

As Bruce says in Batman Begins, "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy". The people of Gotham had become apathetic.

Batman represents personal responsibility, not reliance, not cowardice. Bruce gave up, and hid away in his home. Gotham gave up, and relied on the state. Personal responsibility gave up.

At the end of this whole debacle, we see a tattered American flag, and a 'civil war' of sorts between the 'state' and 'the people' (whom have been taken in by Bane's Marxist philosophy), while Batman, Gordon, and Blake are caught in the middle of this war.

Bruce ends his term as Batman, Gordon ends up resigning, and John Blake quits the force (he throws away his badge in frustration). Blake no longer wants to be part of such a system, one that undermines liberty, and justice. He sees the state for what it truly is... servitude.

So while Bane was right in that the state (Gotham) is corrupt, and that injustice is prevalent within it, his intentions and solution were no better.

"You were right, about the structures becoming shackles, and I can't take it... the injustice."

Blake, on the other hand, understands what is needed, he understands that individual liberty is what is most important. He takes up the role of 'Batman' (personal responsibility), and RISES, as an individual, taking actions into his own hands; not because he must, but because he can.
he says he's going to give people hope but we know that what he's saying to them is NOT what he truly believes in because he just wants to torture Bruce Wayne. So in fact, the film could actually be about hypocrisy if anything. the bomb is there to punish the corrupt capitalist society, whilst bane is not even a believer is communism (and no, it's not the ame as socialism).

Posts: 4
Joined: July 2012
Since this is a Nolan site, I think some of you may be interested in his political leanings.

http://www.campaignmoney.com/finance.as ... ia=Syncopy

Those theories about the dark knight being a defense of George Bush, and The dark knight rises being anti-occupy wall st are now going the way of the dodo bird.

Posts: 37
Joined: May 2012
Batfan175 wrote:
ancap27 wrote:Regarding the politics of TDKR, I interpret it as Classically Liberal, or Libertarian film.

Bane seems to be a Marxist-esque Revolutionary, similar to Che Guevara, seducing the people of Gotham (particularly the lower/middle classes) with collectivist rhetoric, to revolt against the higher classes, and to take the city back for themselves, as it belongs to 'the people'.

So Bane's rhetoric does seem to parallel Marxism, as he wants to...

a) Smash the state

b) Eat the rich

c) Make everyone 'equal'

d) Give Gotham to 'the people', so it belongs to everyone (destruction of private property)

It seems that Nolan predicted the 'Occupy' movement that happened across America, which had similar values (although not as radical, and sometimes convoluted and confused in its message).

However, what makes Bane's intentions interesting is his understanding of its purpose, as he concedes in the Pit, "I learned here that there can be no true despair without hope. So, as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe they can survive so that you can watch them clamoring over each other to "stay in the sun."

Bane knows that this society for which he has created in Gotham is unsustainable, and will find that the people themselves will destroy each other, before the bomb is even necessary. However, the bomb still has its designated time for which to explode, and this bomb is very much a metaphor for the inevitable result of such a Marxist society... destruction... it is like a "ticking time bomb" so to speak.

However, while this seems to critique Marxism, this does not mean that the film panders to the 'status quo' of America's statism, it is not so black-and-white.

This theme can be seen in the characters of Gordon and John Blake, two good cops that are part of a system that undermines justice, it is corrupt, and they come to realize this.

As this dialogue between Gordon and Blake suggests...

John Blake: Those men locked up for eight years in Blackgate, and denied parole under the Dent Act, based on a lie?

Jim Gordon: Gotham needed a hero...

John Blake: It needs it now more than ever. You betrayed everything you stood for.

Jim Gordon: There's a point, far out there when the structures fail you, and the rules aren't weapons anymore, they're... shackles letting the bad guy get ahead. One day... you may face such a moment of crisis. And in that moment, I hope you have a friend like I did, to plunge their hands into the filth so that you can keep yours clean!

John Blake: Your hands look plenty filthy to me, Commissioner.


This is in reference to the Dent Act, which essentially turned Gotham into a police state, founded upon a lie. Gordon was frustrated with this lie, and this is seen with his struggle to come to grips with his own inclusion in it. He has succumbed to the corrupt system.

Bruce has been a recluse for 8 years, hiding within the walls of his home, because no one seemed to need Batman anymore, they just relied on the state to 'protect' them. I see Bruce's 'imprisonment' within his home as a parallel to the 'imprisonment' of Gotham's people within the walls of the state.

As Bruce says in Batman Begins, "People need dramatic examples to shake them out of apathy". The people of Gotham had become apathetic.

Batman represents personal responsibility, not reliance, not cowardice. Bruce gave up, and hid away in his home. Gotham gave up, and relied on the state. Personal responsibility gave up.

At the end of this whole debacle, we see a tattered American flag, and a 'civil war' of sorts between the 'state' and 'the people' (whom have been taken in by Bane's Marxist philosophy), while Batman, Gordon, and Blake are caught in the middle of this war.

Bruce ends his term as Batman, Gordon ends up resigning, and John Blake quits the force (he throws away his badge in frustration). Blake no longer wants to be part of such a system, one that undermines liberty, and justice. He sees the state for what it truly is... servitude.

So while Bane was right in that the state (Gotham) is corrupt, and that injustice is prevalent within it, his intentions and solution were no better.

"You were right, about the structures becoming shackles, and I can't take it... the injustice."

Blake, on the other hand, understands what is needed, he understands that individual liberty is what is most important. He takes up the role of 'Batman' (personal responsibility), and RISES, as an individual, taking actions into his own hands; not because he must, but because he can.
he says he's going to give people hope but we know that what he's saying to them is NOT what he truly believes in because he just wants to torture Bruce Wayne. So in fact, the film could actually be about hypocrisy if anything. the bomb is there to punish the corrupt capitalist society, whilst bane is not even a believer is communism (and no, it's not the ame as socialism).

Hypocrisy and angry vengeful children indeed.

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