Movies that Incite Rebellion
Ah, the 5th of November. It sparks an uneasy sense of rebellion in my chest... not to be confused with the rebellion I've felt since being old enough to have a shaky grasp on history. Or maybe it's the same rebellion. At this point, with the state of the world as it is, sometimes it's hard to tell where the rage comes from.
I usually blog about writing, or yoga, or meditation. I generally hope to invite a sense of empowerment and peace. Please check out some of my other blog posts if you need something calming after this, because my mood today calls for something different...
V for Vendetta
Before I wax philosophic on the parallels that can be drawn between filmmaking and our collective reality, let's do the day justice and start with the famous speech from V for Vendetta, directed by James McTeigue and written by the Wachowskis, based on DC Comics by Alan Moore and David Lloyd.
I'm not here to talk about inventive techniques in film, breakthrough technology, or even brilliant writing.
I want to focus on movies that invite us to wake up from our collective slumber as humanity. Films that use fiction to parallel current events, inspiring everyone to take a look around and realize there might be more truth to some of these movies than authorities would have you believe.
What authorities? The ones who pretend to have our best interests in mind while creating more and more oppressive rules so the rich get richer and the powerful become almost god-like in their delusional minds.
Though I'm a rebel through and through, I do value personal peace, so I'll avoid politics in this post. However, no matter what your views, if you take a good look at the world right now, there is no shortage of oppression being carried out. Enough that people have taken to the streets all over the planet to fight for freedoms that are being stripped away.
Back to movies...
Wag the Dog
Let's look at Wag the Dog, directed by Barry Levinson, with a screenplay by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet, adapted from Larry Beinhart's novel, American Hero.
Admittedly, it's been a long time since I've watched this movie, but the concept behind it is as relevant as ever.
The manipulation of the media, using propaganda and psychological warfare like fear, is rampant today. As it always has been. Consider this 2012 article from Forbes about media manipulation, written by Ryan Holiday.
Media manipulation exploits the difference between perception and reality. The media was long a trusted source of information for the public. Today, all the barriers that made it reliable have broken down.
That quote is from 2012. Nearly a decade later, I think it's safe to say trust in the media has dropped to an all-time low.
I'll let this excerpt from Wag the Dog speak for itself.
As we plunge into the age of Artificial Intelligence and Facebook algorithms that record everything we do, down to how long we look at a certain post (see the documentary Social Dilemma for a deep dive into how invasive social media really is), I think it's time to go back to a movie that sparked my interest in filmmaking.
Terminator 2, directed by James Cameron, written by James Cameron and William Wisher, is a classic warning of a dystopian future. Now, I'm not saying we're headed to that dystopian future, but... well, even Elon Musk is afraid of what AI could become. I'm not a big fan of Elon, but he makes some good points in this video:
Do I think it's too late?
No. I'm an eternal optimist.
That said, I think we're fools if we don't heed these warnings.
In Terminator 2, the creation of AI wasn't intended to be destructive. In theory, it was an invention to help humanity, but it went bad. Very bad. And the possibility of something similar happening in our reality is more relevant now than ever.
Here's a clip from Terminator 2 talking about how one event leads to another.
This dive into movies that call to the rebels inside us wouldn't be complete without The Matrix.
Directed and written by the Wachowskis, it's possible that The Matrix has eclipsed every other film in showing a dystopia where nearly every human being is under control.
We're plugged into the Matrix now, addicted to the Internet. How many people spend more time on their phones and computers than with loved ones? How much of your attention is directed outward, rather than inward?
Censorship. Mandates. Social Credit Systems. The world we live in is overflowing with rules made by those who wish to control every person on the planet. No matter how you look at the world, it's clear that freedoms are being lost at an unprecedented level. Globally.
The Matrix is an extreme example of a population exploited, deceived into believing they are free.
Artificial Intelligence is behind the destruction and enslavement of people in The Matrix, however, I think there are more current threats in the real world that want an obedient population.
We need to take the red pill, and wake up.
Instead of a clip from the original movie, here's the trailer for the upcoming feature, The Matrix Resurrections.
I'll leave you with one more.
Star Wars is perhaps the ultimate example of oppression and rebellion. And since Rogue One is my favorite of the lot, here's the trailer.
I'll let you draw the lines between fiction and reality.
I've chosen movies that nearly everyone has seen, but there are countless more out there. We've watched these movies for entertainment, but aren't they all a warning?
Aren't they all meant to be a wake-up call?
That's my take, anyway. What about you? What movies stand out in your mind as revolutionary, or warnings about what we might face if we don't make different choices?
Thanks for reading!
Peace @Katrina-Ariel / @LeiaTalon