Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Film Favorites: The Village

An isolated community.

An older generation hiding from past pain and present fear.

A younger generation raised in ignorance and taught superstition.

Trusting children exploited, sacrificed to appease their parents' anxieties, reared in a tiny culture bubble, guarded against outside influences that would endanger or enlighten them. All significant choices made for them by their authorities.

Secrets. Control. Manipulation. Lies. Fear. Facades. All in the guise of protection and love.

But ultimately, the same evil that lurked outside the borders could not be kept out. It arises from within, threatening the security the community "authorities" had labored so hard to create.

M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village".

I don't watch horror films. But this didn't seem at all like horror to me in 2004; it seemed terrifyingly true to life. And when my husband and I first watched The Village, we wanted to shout from the rooftops. 

Finally, I had an image I could refer people to! Just as the Duggars' 19 Kids and Counting offers a narrow glimpse into the world of Quiverfull homeschooling, this film illustrates the emotional experience of growing up in an isolated Christian fundamentalist subculture: "Have you seen The Village? It's like I grew up there."

And like Ivy Walker, I walked away with fear and trembling, only to be amazed at the world outside that was so very different than I'd been told.

"There is kindness in your voice. I did not expect that."

1 comment:

  1. Yes! With my Amish Mennonite/homeschooling background, I could so well relate to the fear, isolation, and control in that film. Sometimes for the heck of it, I read Focus on the Family's film reviews, and I was most amused at their take on this one. Basically, for the first time ever that I know of they critiqued its lack of artist merit (as if evangelicals care about a film's artistic merit!). They thought the language was stilted. (Uhm, yeah. That's the point. That level of control/sheltering is stultifying and brittle.) Basically the point of the story went right over their heads. *eye roll*

    - Naomi