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Violence vs. Non Violence Montage
A scene of a violent act is intercut with scenes of a non violent act

(permanent link) added: 2011-10-25 00:16:30 sponsor: Waterlily (last reply: 2012-11-18 02:37:31)

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Sometimes, in order for a violent scene to look even more devastating, a filmmaker will choose to contrast it with a happy, peaceful and otherwise non violent scene in the form of a montage. These are scenes that typically celebrate life and can be a birth, a wedding or somebody singing among other things.

Compare Birth/Death Juxtaposition



  • One episode of Death Note has Misa singing a hymn intercut with montages of the people she's killing off as the second Kira to deflect suspicion from Light.


  • The end of The Godfather has one of the most famous examples as scenes of Michael's enemies being killed is intercut with his nephew's baptism.
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, the title character goes on a rampage across London while his true love Mina gets married.
  • In The Lord of the Rings film, a battle between Orcs and the armies of Gondor is intercut with a scene of Denethor eating while Pippin sings him a song. Also involves Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • The sequel to The Blair Witch Project opens with scenes of the main characters setting out into the woods intercut with scenes of people being ritualistically murdered.
  • Elizabeth has a scene toward the end where as Elizabeth is becoming secure as Queen, looking elegant, etc, her Spymaster Walshingham and his men are killing her enemies one by one.
  • In The Fifth Element, the opera scene is intercut with Leeloo's fight.
  • In Quantum of Solace, Bond's fight scenes against the Quantum mooks are juxtaposed against a performance of Tosca.
  • There's one part in Schindler's List where Amon Goeth's violent beating of Helen Hirsch is interspersed with scenes from a party that Oskar Schindler is attending as well as a makeshift wedding in a concentration camp between two prisoners.
  • In Clear And Present Danger, Greer's military - style funeral is occuring at the same time that the operatives in Columbia are being ambushed and gunned down, and the film cuts back and forth between the scenes.
  • Played with in Deep Impact Both scenes are gentle, but one is Leo's wedding; the other is Jenny's Mother dolling herself up so she leaves a pretty corpse when she commits suicide.

Live Action TV

  • The soap opera General Hospital has done a few of these:
    • A mother sings a lullaby to her baby daughter while mobsters go after various major characters.
    • A mob boss's pregnant wife is killed by a car bomb while the woman he truly loves marries another man.
  • In the Firefly episode "Safe", a shootout during a deal gone south is played alongside River dancing.
  • There's been a couple of instances in Boardwalk Empire where Nucky gives a nice speech that's intercut with scenes of his dirty work being carried out.
  • There's also a famous example in Babylon 5 that cuts between a multi-faith congregation singing a gospel song and dozens of Narns beating the life out of Lord Refa as the music continues in the background.

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