At Duke’s Call and Response blog, Scott Benhase ties The Great Santini, one of the most iconic and troubling movies of my youth, to Lent:
The father is clearly damaged goods. He has a tough time expressing his emotions maturely and relating lovingly to his wife and children. He treats his children the way he treats his subordinates. One night he comes home drunk from an evening with his fellow officers and is in a foul mood. When he enters the family kitchen, he gets into an argument with his older son. When his wife intervenes, he slaps her. This causes his older son to come to his mother’s defense by striking his father with his fist. So, the father begins to pummel his son with his own fists. As he is doing so, his young daughter jumps on his back with her arms tight around his neck, yelling: “No Daddy, no!” The younger son, whimpering with his eyes shut tightly, wraps his entire body around one of his father’s legs trying to prevent him from stepping into his punches.