Vigilatnes: Private Justice in Popular Cinema
For many people, the cinematic vigilante has been shaped by Charles Bronson’s character in Death Wish and its sequels. But screen vigilantes have taken many guises, from Old West lynch mobs and rogue police officers to rape-avengers and military-trained equalizers.
This book recounts the varied representations of such characters in films like The Birth of a Nation, which celebrated the violence of the Ku Klux Klan, and Taxi Driver, Falling Down and You Were Never Really Here, in which the vigilante impulse was symptomatic of mental instability. Also considered is the extent to which fictional vigilantism functions as social commentary and to what degree it is simply stoking popular fears.