Films both reflect and construct social reality, especially in the way they employ, affirm and critique the discourses through which we grasp political life. This book examines five contemporary feature films that engage our deep attachments to two core political ideas- freedom and vengeance - asking: what do audiences learn about freedom and vengeance from film, and what are the political consequences of the reproduction or disruption of their meanings? Often, contemporary films represent the pursuit of freedom and revenge in a depoliticized way, erasing the precarious character of social life. Other films, however, foreground the negotiation of unchosen relations and circumstances in their drama. Films examined include Into the Wild, Mystic River, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Wendy and Lucy and Winter's Bone.