Posts Tagged ‘puritanism’

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(Also: The Witch – Joe’s Review)

‘But if you take the movie symbolically, the movie is kind of a primer on what fucked America up in the first place: delusional Christian assholes stealing the land and then using their obsessive and insane religion to create a dogma of hate and intolerance.’

 

by Kim Niccolini

If you plan on heading to the movies to check out Robert Eggers’ The Witch, you better hurry. It most likely will vanish before even having a chance to get stoned to death by the general public. Most people have flocked to the film expecting a standard Hollywood shocker horror film. Sure, it could be a crap movie, but at least it would provide screams and squirms and squirts of blood and guts.

Audiences have been gravely disappointed and confused by what they have found in The Witch. Sure, it’s a horror film, but it’s about the horror that is American Christian culture and the disease it has inflicted on social and sexual culture since the moment the first Puritan bible hit the New World. The film is a moody, minimalist parable for the sickness of American conservative Christianity and the horror of its vile intolerance. Rather than finding cheesy creepy shlock shock, most audiences have left the theater surprised, disappointed, and more than a little disturbed. Set in the 1630s and chronicling a Puritan family living in exile, the film is a dismal, dark, stark and disturbing reminder of the original Christian sin that gave way to the rape of the American land, Christian-sanctified genocide, the oppression of women, and the repression of sexuality that has never left the dark core of American socio-politics.

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“Forgive me Lord for I have trespassed” is certainly a biblical phrase that most people are familiar with. And trespass is exactly what those Puritan bible thumpers did. They trespassed in the name of God. They trespassed on land that was not theirs. They trespassed on human rights. They trespassed on women and children. They trespassed on the natives that occupied the land they stole. And they trespassed on themselves, promoting a culture of self-loathing, sexual repression, and a dogma under which it is impossible to be right and thereby gives license to wrong so many.

That is the religious landscape that is portrayed in this colorless, bleak and dismal film. It is a tale stripped to bare bones insanity. Those Puritans were run by a bunch of insane patriarchs like Jonathan Edwards and who scared people into submission with such tirades as his infamous sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Edwards and his crew of patriarchs thumped their Bibles and ruled with fear. They set the stage that would infect American culture with a dominant ideology which propagates feverish paranoia, xenophobia, sexual repression, misogyny, and intolerance all bred from a culture of Self Hatred, and this dogma rings as true today as it did back in the 1600s during which this film was set. To quote John Trudell on Christianity’s dogma of self-hatred: “If you don’t love yourself, what the fuck good are you going to do for the rest of the world?” The answer is simple. None. Instead Americans have turned their self-hatred into an Imperialist regime of murder, racism, and sexism. Spreading Democracy in the name of God one bomb and bullet at a time. Or back in the days of the witch trials, one stone at a time.

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