The Binding of Abraham

Journal of Religion & Film

“Released during the twin peaks of Cold War tension, Fail-Safe (1964) andWarGames (1983) reinterpret the Binding of Isaac, also known as the Akedah. In both films, an act of sacrificial patricide accompanies or replaces the sacrifice of an Isaac-like son. When viewed in the context of Cold War cultural politics—events such as Norman Morrison’s Abrahamic self-immolation and Kent State’ s rejection of George Segal’ s sacrificial memorial— the inverted Akedah emerges as a subversive reflection of its traditional form…”