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The Cinema of Michael MannVice and Vindication$
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Jonathan Rayner

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167291

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167291.001.0001

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Endangering the Domestic

Endangering the Domestic

Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider

Chapter:
(p.93) Chapter Three Endangering the Domestic
Source:
The Cinema of Michael Mann
Author(s):

Jonathan Rayner

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231167291.003.0004

This chapter explores domesticity and ambiguous relationships in Michael Mann's Manhunter (1986), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and The Insider (1998). In Manhunter, Will Graham's physical and emotional separation from his own family in the course of his investigations is precipitated by his parallel professional duty and personal need to defend other families. However, his connection to the other targeted families through his emphatic understanding of his quarry's desires underlines his psychic similarity to the killer, and therefore the ambiguous nature of his own familial identity. In The Last of the Mohicans, the role of fatherhood becomes a contested and competitive cultural influence, with racial and ethnic families demanding loyalty or offering various forms of spiritual or secular fulfilment. In comparison with these films, The Insider provides an examination of threats to the family, which are embedded in the mundane domestic and vocational activity of modern American males.

Keywords:   domesticity, ambiguous relationships, Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, familial identity, fatherhood

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