I was just going through my old movie collection and stumbled upon gothika and well, got interested to put a search...when this page came out. the tattoo in the movie seems to be different than yours. This shows a serene and heavenly beauty in chain and the other one will really make you feel that the girl is in excruciating pain..see the movie..it rocks. — Gordon
Well, Gordon (and fellow anima sola fans), I did see Gothika a few weeks ago. I had been meaning to ever since I learned that an anima sola tattoo is featured in the plot. After seeing the movie (which I thought was pretty good, btw), I can assure you that:
1) I am not a raping, murdering psychopath or maker of snuff films
2) I do not associate the anima sola image with the torture of women (and anyone who sees my tattoo and thinks I do is positively misinformed and/or crazy
3) The anima sola symbolism in the movie was twisted to fit the ideals of the villain — as is often the case with religious imagery/ideals.
Anima Sola does convey suffering, that is undeniable. The woman is in flames, after all. But she is penitent, gazing heavenward, and the flames do not consume her. Her chains are broken. It is suffering, and the release from it. Anima Sola reminds me that we punish ourselves for what we choose to punish ourselves for. Her voice rings in my head with the words "your chains are broken, darling, so why are you still standing here?"
So, I'm taking Anima Sola back from Gothika. She's mine. And she's pro-woman, beautiful, strong, and powerful. She's a survivor. She's got boundless faith, though not always in herself. Like Joan of Arc and St. Bernadette and even myself on my better days.