Are You Watching Closely? Truth and Lies in the Films of Christopher Nolan




Keenum, Shaler

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In each of Christopher Nolan’s films, lying plays a role in the shaping of the film’s narrative. Nolan also crafts his films in a way that often leads his audience astray, enabling him to lie to the audience through the structure of his films. With this in mind, this thesis analyzes several of Nolan’s films through the lens of Plato’s noble lie. To begin, the necessary criteria for a lie to be considered noble are established. These criteria are then used to evaluate diegetic and non-diegetic lies within Memento, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Through these films, Nolan demonstrates an understanding of the concept of the noble lie and reestablishes the lie as the heroic lie. By doing so, Nolan demonstrates the philosophical capability of film to reveal truth through lies and provide audiences with a transcendent experience to reach the underlying truth of his narratives.



Film., Philosophy., Christopher Nolan., Noble Lie.