Cinema as Philosopher

This week’s insight comes from last night’s movie. We saw the Coen Brother’s Excellent new film, “No Country for Old Men”. In it, Javier Bardem does a phenomenal job of playing an intense, recalcitrant, violent, mad man out for drugs and money. Tommy Lee Jones, whose role is introspective, thoughtful and restrained, having spent his career seeking law, order, calm and peace, at one point makes the keen observation: “Sometimes you just can’t solve every dispute. In those cases, the best you can do is put a tourniquet on the wound and let it go.”

I won’t spoil the movie for you, because I do highly recommend it…but there was certainly a metaphoric lesson for mediators there. It particularly struck me because a case I tried to mediate was “settled” this week by the court granting a Motion for Summary Judgment. Whereas I had an offer of a “tourniquet” (far below the actual medical specials, but at least a gesture of good faith by a defendant who earnestly believed it had no legal exposure), the parties chose instead to try to solve the dispute by taking their best shot before a Judge. Amongst “old men” perhaps, there are enough ups and downs that this particular case didn’t strike as hard as it did for the minor Plaintiff and his family…but for me, the two were inextricably related and ultimately made me appreciate the philosophy of the cinema in order to put things into perspective.

                        author

Jan Frankel Schau

Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the… MORE >

Featured Mediators

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

“Costs Follow Conduct” – A Musical Altercation

Kluwer Arbitration BlogWhen ABBA launched “The Winner Takes It All” in 1980, modern arbitration was still in its infancy. The ICC case numbers were just about to become four-digit, while the...

By Eliane Fischer, Flavio Peter
Category

Conflict Tipping Podcast Episode 14: Adrian Wagner, Research Fellow at European School of Governance

In this episode Laura interviews Adrian Wagner, Research Fellow at European School of Governance and an experienced coach for organizational transformation. Adrian was co-initiator of the Black Forest School of...

By Laura May
Category

Divorce Mediation: Participant’s Exercises

Excerpted from Between Love And Hate: A Guide To Civilized Divorce By Lois Gold, M.S.W. (Penguin USA 1996) Order at Amazon.com The following exercises have been excerpted from the book...

By Lois Gold

Find a Mediator

X
X
X