Walt Kowalski A Christ-Figure? Christic Resonances in Gran Torino

  • Author(s): Diane Corkery
  • When: 2011-10
  • Where: Journal of Religion & Film
  • This article explores some of the resonances that an audience with biblical and Christian sensibilities might experience through a viewing of Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino (2008). The key criteria employed in Christ-figure research, that is, those criteria that constructively centre on the New Testament metanarrative of crucifixion and resurrection, are applied to Gran Torino. Other resonances, which may strike viewers familiar with additional aspects of the Gospels, are presented, including the concept of an honorable death and leadership struggles. This article concludes that the character Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino is a Christ-figure, who embodies Jesus’ self-sacrificial vision of life presented in such texts as John 10: 15 and 15: 13.

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