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LET’S HAVE A WAR! (IS THE ENEMY WITHIN?) Film analysis written by Victor "Vic Kings" Reis

As the political spectrum narrows itself to an "us vs them" scenario in several countries West and East of the globe, filmmakers and producers tend to create new cinematographic analyses of this not-so-silent ideological war, with thrillers, post-horror, and finally comedic satires. While directors like Adam McKay aim towards a more direct approach to understanding and showing economic crisis (The Big Short), low-key authoritarianism (Vice), and anti-science uprising (Don't Look Up); the director Craig Zobel puts the mirror a little closer to the mind's eye of the beholder, this time playing with a hypothesis, an idea that could have surfaced in the depths of dreams and nightmares of liberals and conservatives alike: What if we were hunted? What if they hunted us?

The absurd and violent idea didn't come to defend any side of the coin, even though the millionaire-turned-ex-president of the United States decided to backlash the film's premiere perceiving it as "a movie coming out made to inflame and cause chaos", justifying on his official Twitter account that "they create their violence, and then try to blame others. They are the true Racists, and are very bad for our Country!". "Us vs them" right there again. However, let's not even enter into the merits of analyzing the misuse of the word "racist" in Trump's inflamed quote, instead let's just understand that, even without watching the film, the general idea of its plot made the most influential right-wing figure of Occidental politics rage out in a biased way, and that just showed that the film isn't wrong at all on its depicting of brainless reactionary leaderships.

Damon Lindelöf's and Nic Curse's screenplay narrates the story of an "allegedly right-wing" deadly and quiet protagonist. The woman, caught as prey alongside several conservative and reactionary figures, must flee or fight for her life to survive this hunt organized by a sadistic liberal elite. The plot could suggest a conservative depiction of a "Wicked New World Order" that aims to promote an "anti-traditional family agenda", preaching a "so-called social justice" as a way to "suppress and destroy the core of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant's beliefs", like for example, the right of owning and using firearms against potential threats. Ironic, right?

At the same time, the sarcastic approach in Zobel's film aims the faux-concerned neoliberal voices. Suggesting their "wokeness" is as close-minded as the traditionalisms of their oppositionists. The idea of intellectualizing social issues in civil rights (especially working-class rights) is simply one of the most fragile Achille's heels for this center-left-ish ideological view. The lack of human perception towards the poorer and less-lectured parts of the population is one of the main reasons why the bottom of the power pyramid can't afford to look at itself as a powerful wind of change.

George Orwell's 1984 perfectly described the asleep strength of the proletariat, the common people, who are more concerned about granting food on the table and a roof above their heads, than understanding the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. And that's why immediatism politics are so attractive to this populational layer. That's why the conservative and reactionary worldviews are embraced by the very people despised and oppressed by these ideologies. That's also why Fred Hampton was promptly cold-blooded murdered by J. Edgar Hoover's forces. Once the working class understands its importance and central role as the main engine for society's growth, economical elites won't have control over it, id est, "If the working class produces everything, everything belongs to them".

Now, back to the movie, after a series of bloody misadventures and battles, the audience finally understands the true face and motives behind all that manslaughter. The bourgeoisie's urge for control and maintenance of a "not-so-harsh" status quo made a hoax become true, turning the war of "snowflakes against deplorables" into an American Civil War 2.0 where, instead of the fight for civil rights and against slavery, we see a shallow fight of a two sided-coin that, ultimately, represents the very same: dominance through power and control in a capitalist status quo.

Neoliberal or conservative, the whole idea of maintaining a population doped by an intense sense of paranoia heats up the intellectualized debates, while the very holders of this power, blues or reds, play "hot potato" while the population struggle and literally die to pay for the mortgage, for basic health insurance, for a quality educational system, and so on. Ends up, the protagonist, supposedly a right-wing Ellen Ripley is just a... working-class Ellen Ripley, who doesn't need to label herself as a "tree-hugging cuck" or a "bootlicking redneck", and who actually understood why Napoleon killed Snowball after all.

By Victor “Vic Kings” Reis


*A.N.: Title inspired by the song “Let’s Have a War” by From Autumn to Ashes.


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