Classic western films often conceive of the west as existing in a legal void, where the central conflict is a binary one between lawlessness and legalization. The law is a monolith, and the legalization process is linear - a narrative of the west's inexorable evolution toward a modern state governed by the rule of law. Cimino's Heaven's Gate presents a more postmodernist, pluralist conception. There is no grand narrative of legalization; the film envisages a discourse of justice emerging from the interaction of a variety of discourses, and which appears to be a unity only from the vantage point of history.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Law and film, Legal norms, Social theory, Westerns
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/1743872109355555
Journal Law, Culture and the Humanities
Citation
Young, D. (2011). Law and the foucauldian Wild West in Michael Cimino's heaven's gate. Law, Culture and the Humanities, 7(2), 310–326. doi:10.1177/1743872109355555