The film scrutinizes and criticizes the practice of capital punishment in the United States. Even though few people could identify themselves with Poncelet, his grief and despair occurs before and during the injection and reminds us that less than few are totally in lack of emotions.
Besides the topic ofrepresentation, any kind of art raises the question of perception.
But Edmund Arens15 whether a particular film really can be considered as a work of art depends on a number of presuppositions, a few of which I shall mention here. Though Poncelet a composite of two real-life inmates maintains his innocence, Sister Helen is disturbed by the horrific nature of the crime he and an associate were convicted of, the brutal murder of a pair of teenage lovers.
At his execution, she forces herself to keep her eyes open, to not look away. And it does so in a way which not only demonstrates the interplay of violence and religion but also opens up the chance of transcending various kinds of sacrificial structures inhabiting that interplay. Its triumph lies in its remarkable evenhandedness, its absence of shrillness or cheap histrionics.
Soon she is not only exchanging letters with him, but visiting him in prison, where she learns that, although he was involved in the crime, it was his brother who committed the murders.
Wordcount: After some general remarks about this film as a work of art, I will briefly review the story line. Moments later, he became the eighth person Texas has put to death this year by lethal injection, and the five-hundred-and-fifty-third it has executed since Gregg v.