Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Village

Earlier this week it was my birthday. I was in Columbia on some errands for work and suddenly remembered that I get a free video rental on my birthday from Hollywood video. I hadn't rented a video since we moved to Bethany, (there was a Mr. Video in town, but it closed shortly after we moved here). So I popped over to the video store and picked up two videos (only one was free): The Village and Master & Commander. Both had been recommended by my oldest daughter over a year ago.

Last night we watched The Village.

[Warning-spoilers ahead] This is a physcological suspense thriller. What is actually going on in the movie is unclear at first-it gradually is revealed to the viewer. Basically, this is it: A group of people (the elders) dealing with various violent tradgedies in their own lives -each of which took a loved one, decide to retreat from the world and build a community in the middle of a huge 'wildlife preserve'. This way they can preserve their children from violence and keep them innocent. They don't allow anyone to leave, and the elders control them and keep them on the preserve (their children-many of whom also now have children) by fabricating a story about a monstrous people who live in the woods surrounding the retreat. (Periodically one of the "elders" dress up as one of these monsters for a sighting to prove their existence. They have fabricated a whole way of life and rituals based on the fabricated monstrous people to make it all seem real). Of course, the retreat doesn't work as planned, violent tradgedy strikes in the heart of the community, and the elders must decide whether to continue the experiment or not, and at what cost.

This movie does promote several interesting lines of discussions. How much can one really and effectively (disregarding whether it is right or not) retreat from the world? How much can one actually (how much should one) protect the innocence of their children? Is this kind of total retreat from the world a failure to trust in God? (And a rejection of the mission to evangelize the world?) At what cost does one retreat from the world? (note in the movie the retreat had to be controlled by lies.)

I think most these questions are correctly answered by not going to extremes one way or another, (Aristotle's moderation.) Yet even here, one person's mean is another's extreme.

Maybe more on this later if we discuss some of these ideas at home. (Tonight-Master & Commander-yipee!)

1 comment:

Stella said...

I've watched the Village several times. It's one of my favorites. I've always liked how Ivy is stripped of everything in the woods (the magic rocks, her comrades, the safe color, her walking stick,) and has to conquer fear through love.

As far as the Utopiano elders,I don't see how you can found a thriving society on fear. Or fraud. I would rather live amongst wolves I knew than be frigtened into obedience by ghost stories. Wouldn't that make for the greater saint?