ebertRoger Ebert, after giving a zero star review to Chaos, received a letter from its producer and director in which they defended their film, insisting that, "Real evil exists, and cannot be ignored, sanitized or exploited. It needs to be shown just as it is." Ebert, however, disagrees.  In his mind, the lack of motivation or context given the killer/torturer/evildoer in Chaos makes the filmmakers irresponsible and, he suspects, motivated more by the notoriety of scandal than the creation of a quality film.  Additionally, he is deeply troubled by what he calls "the absence of any alternative" to the horrors depicted in the film.  Granting the possibility that the world really is as horrible as the filmmakers suggest, Ebert insists that it is then their responsibility as artists to offer an alternative; to give audiences a reason to hope.

Whether you agree with Ebert or not, it's incredibly refreshing when a mainstream, thumbs up/thumbs down-type critic is allowed to take a moment to seriously consider the power and meaning of cinema. I expect this sort of thing from his fellow Chicagoan Jonathan Rosenbaum, perhaps, but certainly not from Ebert. Has anyone around here seen Chaos?  What do you think?