The Towers of Silence are circular-shaped buildings that have funeral customs and symbols for adherents of Zoroastrianism. They find the body of a corpse impure, and not to violate the sacredness of the land, refuse to bury or cremate a body. Instead, lay the corpse on top of a building in the mountains, where vultures come and eat your meat, just after the bones are in contact with lime, so they can disintegrate and thereafter be thrown into the water where the cursor continue on to the sea, not touching the ground as well.
Funny Games is a cinematic version of the philosophical riddle of a tree falling in a forest, leading not only to a heightened sense of being an accomplice on the part of the audience but also to asking questions regarding the audience’s responsibility, the obligation to think about what it means to look at violent imagery and the pain of others and the capacity to understand the absurdity, randomness, and brutality that the violent images actually show. Funny Games is meant to lead to reflection, to catch the audience looking in order to make them conscious of their own look. By establishing an interconnection between the diegesis and the non-diegesis, the film creates an “ethical space” where the audience is held as an accomplice to a representation of violence that they do not even want to see. The audience position in Funny Games, then, is of necessity ethically charged, since this consciousness cannot arise without simultaneously revealing moral values with regard to (media) violence.
- Tarja Laine, “Haneke’s ‘Funny Games’ with the Audience.”