The Boondock Saints

This is a clip from Troy Duffy’s 1999 film “The Boondock Saints.” This film has always interested me from a film culture point of view as it was met so overwhelmingly with negative reviews, and yet generally loved and well received by audiences. The film itself doesn’t exactly deal with a broad cultural zeitgeist in the way that “The Manchurian Candidate” does, but rather a small subset of the population in the Irish area of Boston. Being a Boston native myself, I’m always interested in the way the city and its’ streets are portrayed. It is true that Boston is widely regarded as having one of the most corrupt and ineffective police systems in the country, thus understandably lending itself to the subject matter of many films from “The Town” to “Mystic River” to “Gone Baby Gone.” However “Saints” presents the question of ethics; if a few regular citizens take on the job of patrolling the streets in the way that the police are not – choosing who lives and who dies based on their own debatably Irish Catholic system of morality – are they in the right? This scene serves as a good indication of that struggle, as the violent brutality of their acts of revenge are contrasted both with the picturesque images of suburbia (albeit a blood stained utopia), with William H. Macy’s tempered false recollections of the events as they transpired, and with the incredibly gruesome images of the mobsters deaths. 

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