Manny or Tiger, as he calls himself, is on the phone at midnight calling old friends to confess: he confesses his sins and wants to make amends. He is attempting to rebuild old bridges. His big confession: years ago he told people that he had AIDS, but he did not in fact have it.
His old friends, however, either knew at the time that he was lying or are not interested in his plight. They are mostly interested in themselves. This is frustrating to Manny and he becomes more and more agitated. This is the sign that confession may not be good for the soul when confession is designed to elicit a particular response or to make the confessor feel good.
The fake confession is similar to the fake apology. "I'm sorry that you feel bad," is not an apology. It is designed to make the apologist look good in the eyes of others. An apology is meant to identify something you did that was wrong and tell others that you are sorry for having done this wrong thing. A confession designed to elicit forgiveness is manipulative. It is a confession with a hidden agenda. A real confession is given without expecting something in return.
At the end of the film we see Manny practicing crying in the mirror. This act informs us that Manny plans to try his hand at confessing again, but this time with fake tears. It will not be a confession in its truest sense. The interesting question is this: When people confess their sins to God, do they expect something in return? Or are they trying to manipulate God?
William L. Blizek
University of Nebraska at Omaha, firstname.lastname@example.org
William Blizek is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Religion and Film, and is Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is also the editor of the Continuum Companion to Religion and Film (2009).
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|Title Annotation:||Article 15|
|Author:||Blizek, William L.|
|Publication:||Journal of Religion and Film|
|Article Type:||Movie review|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2019|
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