The Horror of (a) Playing God: Job’s Nightmare and Michael Haneke’s Funny Games

  • Author(s): Bradley Herling
  • When: 2012-07
  • Where: Journal of Religion and Popular Culture
  • Michael Haneke’s film Funny Games (1997; American remake 2007) offers a potent critique of violence as entertainment, but on a deeper level, in its depiction of the diabolical games that can produce horrific suffering, the film reasserts the philosophical/theological “problem of evil.” Placing Funny Games in dialogue with the Book of Job, this article argues that Haneke’s film poses a radical challenge to standard narratives of redemption and exposes the experiential core of the often abstracted “problem” of seemingly unwarranted suffering.

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