The concept of kenosis states that Jesus gave up some of his divine attributes while here on earth. The reason this was done by Christ was so that he could function as a real man in order to complete his mission. Jesus humility moved him to leave a more divine and majestic state and become enriched in human nature. This concept of kenosis can be easily applied to the main final scene in Gran Torino in which Walt Kowalski empties himself up for justice in order to better the lives of his Asian neighbors. After an attack on the Vietnamese next door to him by a bunch of no good gang bangers, Walt is fed up and ready for justice. He goes at night to the house where Tao’s cousin and his gang friends live. The scene starts as Walt approaches the house the gang members inside see him and step out onto the porch. As words are exchanged between Walt and them, more and more guns begin to be pointed at him. People in surrounding houses watch silently. Walt puts a cigarette in his mouth and reaches in for his jacket for a lighter (making it look as if he is about to pull out a gun). Rounds and rounds are unloaded on him, and he falls to the ground with his prized lighter in hand. The police arrive and take away the gang bangers. We see that Walt stepped down from his almost divine and staunch like pedestal to become friends and immerse himself with his Vietnamese neighbors, just as Jesus stepped down from his divine nature to empty himself and save our sins. Walt’s actions will truly help to clean up the neighborhood and create a better life for all those who reside in that gang riddled neighborhood.
The Gospel of John 10:15 and 15:13 both have an overall notion that there is no greater love than laying down one’s life for God and his children. Such a powerful message that truly seems to embody and highlight the overall theme of the movie Gran Torino. The overarching theme of Gran Torino seems to be one of freedom, justice, and love of one’s neighbors....
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