“The overwhelming majority of movies shown are American; and many are off the same assembly line as “One False Move”. That is to say, they are corrupt; they celebrate violence for the sake of it, and for a buck.

They also promote the sexualisation of true violence, the kind that rapes and kills. In “One False Move”, one of the psychopaths holds a knife to his girlfriend’s throat and she coos at him.

This is chic, designer violence that, wrote one critic, is “nothing worse than you read in the papers”. It reflects reality, you see, just as, presumably, the “Dressed to Kill” series and “Reservoir Dogs”, reflect life as we live it.

The truth is that Hollywood’s sludge of ultra-violence is now consuming film making to the exclusion of all other ways of life. There is seldom a mirror held up to the violence of poverty that is endemic in the US.

It is even difficult to find a PG-rated movie that is not violent, as I discovered recently when I took my 8-year-old daughter to see “Mr Nanny” and “Home Alone 2”.

Both demonstrate the skill of directors in cynically “containing” the violence, while ensuring that the young in the audience are drenched in it.

How can a society that has the highest rate of gun-related crimes in the world, the highest rate of imprisonment in the world, not to mention the greatest social divisions, begin to cleanse itself of violence when the popular culture is consumed by it?

Our ability to feel compassion is brutalized by excessive brutality, especially when it’s given that Hollywood sheen.”

— John Pilger in New Statesman & Society