Cinema and Worldview

An Essay By Hannah D. // 11/29/2014

The Matrix
In this movie, the characters are trapped in a virtual computer-world built by robots, in which human minds are simulated to give the people impressions of reality.

In other words, protagonist Neo thinks he is a normal person going to work everyday in an everyday city, but in reality he is one of a great majority of the human race, each trapped inside a bottle with electrodes on their brains, giving impressions of reality. If Neo can manage to learn, however, he can use the way he thinks to manipulate the world around him. To save mankind, he must learn to create his own reality.

This aspect of Postmodernism is believed, to a lesser extent, by some who wish to make a happy or better future for themselves by doing or meditating on good things. This particular aspect of modern American spirituality has roots in the Hindu belief of Karma morality.

I, Robot
Another futuristic setting; here, Spooner is the only citizen to suspect menace among the town's increasingly anthropomorphic robots.

These robots do eventually develop their own level of consciousness (complete with their own insidious anti-human logic). Bring together matter and information in the form of a computer and you can, hypothetically, get a mind; this is obviously based on the assumption that it is possible to take matter and information in the form of DNA and proteins to get life. This entire movie is based on the notion that the theory of evolution is true.

Mercury Rising
An autistic boy, Simon, solves an 'unbreakable' government code and promptly places himself and his parents in mortal danger. When his parents are killed and Simon disappears, a cop named Art, oblivious to the cause of all this, finds Simon and protects him from the still pursuing government assassin.

Eventually Art meets the high-profile government official, Nick Kudrow, who ordered this madness. Nick actually tries to reason with him, explaining that in solving the supercode, Simon has placed a thousand American spies in peril. Simon is a mistake of evolution, he argues, someone who cannot survive on his own. He must be sacrificed to save the lives of hundreds of endangered patriots.

At this point, I actually expected Art to cave. After all, by that line of reasoning, Simon's own parents could legally end his life, and no one would bat an eye. In fact, they could do so with much less dramatic circumstances: he must be killed so that he will not inconvenience (not mortally endanger) family, friends, teachers, etc. - that is, a few people (not over a thousand people).

Of course, that could only happen with a child not yet born. As it happens, Art won't listen to this type of reasoning at all. He promptly raises his foot and slams it in the man's chest. The implications are clear. How could Nick be so cruel? Did he even realize that he was talking about a helpless and innocent human child?

Unfortunately, the same sentiments are not always felt for people under a certain age.

Serenity
It really bothers me when I see Christianity misrepresented in the movies. In this one, the team on board the spaceship Serenity find themselves at odds with the corrupt government, who reacts to being unable to catch them by annihilating a town they had often found refuge in. As the team walks among the ruins, mourning their murdered friends, they spot a single fallen government battleship. Nearby is one of the elders in the town, dying, but still alive.

The man explains that he was able to shoot down one of the battleships, and then adds, "not very Christian of me."

What?! The Bible I read shows people taking up arms to protect nation and families. It commands those who love God to protect those who cannot protect themselves (Proverbs 31:8-9). God even aids those who do so: "Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight" (Psalm 144:1). There is nothing in the Bible that says a leader in a town, who happens to be a Christian, is forbidden from protecting his people - innocent men, women and children - by fighting back at the enemy!

Mud
Lest anyone think I watch too many mindless action movies, here is one that is relatively quiet: a modern day growing-up story about a young boy, Ellis, and his friend, who discover a fugitive called Mud hiding out on an island in the Mississippi River.

Ellis has just developed a crush on an older teenage girl, who appears to return his feelings. Mud is risking being caught by staying in this one place so that he can meet up with his girlfriend, Juniper, and Ellis acts as a messenger between the two. But his own parents are getting a divorce.

When Ellis asks his father about divorce, why two people who promised to always love each other can come to just wanting to end everything, his father simply responds that things change. Times change. People change. Sometimes a couple just stops loving each other. Ellis is eventually hurt to discover that his crush was just leading him on and is then confused when Mud and Juniper decide that they, too, no longer care for each other. As far as I could tell, this film was about a kid learning that love is not [necessarily] forever, and in that sense, it is an American commentary, how today, so many people live their lives as though such a thing were true.

Tangled
This hit me early on as an attack on homeschooling, with all the discussion of sheltering, rebellion, and protection from the world. Rapunzel's alleged mother is actually an evil witch who keeps her trapped in a tower. But as far as the girl knows, this woman is her mother, and really does love her. And so, when she sneaks away (with a charming young man who also happens to be running from the law), she does so feeling as though she has betrayed and disobeyed her mom.

I don't think Tangled is a jab pointed directly at homeschoolers, even though that was my first impression. It has a much broader application, and can be seen as describing teenagers anywhere who feel as though to grow up they must rebel against allegedly overprotective parents and join a crowd of shady characters for friends (but hey, the guy is really nice, right? That must make everything pluperfect!)

Comments

This was really good!

This was really good! Although I haven't seen any of the movies listed I now have a very good reason to NOT watch them. :)

Damaris Ann | Sat, 12/13/2014

I am an overcomer through Christ alone, for the glory of God alone.

:)

Did you just get to be a monthly writer? Or have you been one for a while?
Anyway, nice review! I haven't seen any of the ones you mentioned, except Tangled. It's my absolute favourite movie! Early on in the movie I too picked up on rebelling against overprotective parents...but I still enjoy it. Very much....

Maddi | Tue, 12/23/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Thanks gals! I've been a

Thanks gals! I've been a monthly writer for a day and a month. : ) I do actually like some of the movies listed, I just think it's important to pay attention to the little details (and sometimes more obvious motifs and plots and such) that pertain to worldview. And yes, I thought Tangled was cute. : P

Hannah D. | Tue, 12/23/2014

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

WELL A MILLION

WELL A MILLION CONGRATULATIONS!!
Yes I think it's a very important thing to learn how to discern world views :)
It's such a happy movie! I have other favourites, but...this one was such a favourite that my mum bought it for my birthday...my sixteenth birthday. I'm such a big kid!

Maddi | Tue, 12/23/2014

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Thank you, Maddi! : D

Thank you, Maddi! : D

Hannah D. | Wed, 12/24/2014

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

Comments

I've only seen Serenity and Tangled of the ones you mentioned, but I'm curious to see if you've seen the TV series "Firefly", which was the TV series that Serenity preceded. The movie was only made because the TV show was cancelled and some threads need to be wrapped up. If you have, I'd love to know what you think of Shepherd Book, who has some interesting lines.
At one point, someone says "Doesn't the Bible say something about not killing?"
Book: Yeah, but it's a mit fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.

As for Tangled, I don't think it has anything much to do with homeschoolers--or at least, not the average ones. Most homeschoolers see far more of society than rapunzel does.

Julie | Thu, 12/25/2014

Formerly Kestrel

Thanks so much for

Thanks so much for commenting! I actually haven't seen the TV show, but I'd be interested in watching it if I can find the time; the next couple of months will be pretty busy for me. : )

Hannah D. | Fri, 12/26/2014

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

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