July 28, 2008

Mum’s Blast at Batman Film

AN ANTI-KNIFE campaigner today blasted the new Batman movie claiming it glamorised sadistic violence.

Barbara Dunne, 61, whose son Robert was murdered with a samurai sword in a Middlesbrough street, claimed The Dark Knight would send the wrong message to youngsters. And she vowed to contact the film's producers to complain about the glorification of blades.

The movie features bad-guy character the Joker - played by the late Heath Ledger - who is obsessed with knives.

Mrs Dunne, a Middlesbrough councillor, said The Dark Knight's 12A rating meant young children would be able to watch it if accompanied by an adult.

Mrs Dunne said: "I think the makers should have done research about how high knife crime is in other countries.

"We here are fighting knife crime and they release a movie like that. Kids are impressionable and imaginative. Films like that, along with video games, are re-enacted in a child's mind and in imaginary play. However, these days the kids use the weapons to re- enact with - they have a hard time separating the imaginary from reality."

Mrs Dunne's son Robert, 31, a father-of-one, bled to death in West Lane, Middlesbrough, after a samurai sword was plunged into his back.

Since then Robert's mum, of Stainsby Road, Whinney Banks, Middlesbrough, has campaigned tirelessly against the use of knives in today's society.

She said: "I feel that this movie will give an 'it's OK to carry a knife, it's OK to use a knife, you won't get punished', when we have been fighting for the opposite. Plus what value for human life does it portray? None. The critics might applaud it but what impression will it have on our kids?"

Mrs Dunne is to write to the film's producers to highlight her concerns.

She said: "I'm going to write to them and ask if they did any research into the knife crime going on in the UK. Did they not know there have been 21 stabbings since Christmas? Did they not stop and think that kids are very imaginative and could play act it out?"

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