Man on Fire

Pain and guilt can lead to destructive behaviors. We cope with pain in several ways. Some people might turn to drugs and alcohol, self-harm, perfectionism, or many other behaviors that ultimately bring about death. In the movie Man on Fire (directed by Tony Scott [Scott Free Productions, 2004]), Denzel Washington plays Creasy, the bodyguard of a young girl in Mexico. Creasy is plagued by his past and some of the terrible things he has done. Throughout the film, he asks his close friend, “Do you think God will forgive us for what we have done?” Creasy is pessimistic, rude, and an alcoholic. In one scene he binges on whiskey while listening to sad music and playing with his handgun. As he deals with his guilt and depression, Creasy eventually tries to shoot himself, only to find that the gun did not go off. This is a turning point in the movie for Creasy and eventually leads to him sacrificing himself for the little girl. (Though the miracle of Creasy surviving a suicide attempt is amazing, it is probably best to summarize rather than show the clip, to avoid potentially destructive imagery for students who struggle with suicidal thoughts.)