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INOCULATION FROM INDOCTRINATION

Double feature. Once Were Warriors and Atlas Shrugged part Three

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Please pardon my French subtitles, but this is the best trailer for this film I have seen so far.

I was born in New Zealand, now when one hears about this country what do you think of? Well, what do you think of if you have any knowledge of the forbidden science of geography. Sheep? The lord of the rings movies? Perhaps some pleasant scenery? Well there is much more to NZ than that. It may be a small country but I think it has a lot going for it. Though one perhaps wouldn’t think that after seeing Once Were Warriors.

When I left NZ, Maori culture was an absolute mess. The last time I was there it had experienced something of a resurgence. I think this movie offers a pretty good explanation of how things got so bad

Though perhaps not intended as such this film is a scathing indictment of the welfare state. This mess of utter madness, corruption and poverty simply would not be without a regular government stipends. Furthermore it reflects the surging undercurrent of rage that lies just under the surface in this seemingly peaceful country. For me the movie was a combination of the familiar and the incomprehensible. I understand this is the way it is for people who have lived in different countries. Even relatively similar countries. The best example I can say is the vicious spousal abuse which happens in this movie. Frequently in front of a crowd of people. On the one hand I know this is something that happened an awful lot in New Zealand. At least up till the mid 1990s. Yet this is something that I and many Americans would find utterly reprehensible. Police would be called. Wooden instruments would be broken over people’s heads. Gunshots, warning or otherwise would be fired.

That’s the big thing that got me about this movie and so much of Polynesian cultures. Property rights count for practically nothing for many of them. If they have a concept of individuals defending themselves with armaments. Be they cricket bats, blades or guns it is something utterly incomprehensible to me.

So, what defines so much of this movie is violence. Raw unchecked aggression. Something that cannot be allowed to flourish under any circumstances. Because when it does things start to break down in short order. This movie is a very good reflection of that. A very hard to watch film that comes to an inevitably cruel conclusion. That being said I rate this movie a 5/5. In order to get to that point a movie has to speak to me personally. I know this doesn’t make me an impartial critic. But. Eh.

While we are on the subject of unchecked aggression causing everything to fall apart.

I have finally gotten around to watching the third part of the Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy. Sorry that it took so long but things kept getting in the way and to be honest I just plum forgot about it for a long while. Still, I wanted to see this thing to its end and to be honest I am glad I did. Although I get the feeling the experience was not all that it could have been.

First of all the third part of the series has changed out all the actors, again. This is really annoying, at least for me. I really missed the actress who played Dagny Taggart in the second movie, Samantha Mathis. I like her work and I don’t get to see her as much as I would like.

The biggest problem I have with these movies is the issue of realism. Big parts of these movies could happen or in entirely too many cases are happening. Heck the tagline for part three of this series is No Longer Fiction. Yet other parts of this are utter nonsense. Perhaps this is the movies being too loyal to the book, perhaps not. All I know is that if I were to suddenly find myself barreling headlong into what appeared to be a cliff as Dagny Taggart was at the beginning/end of part two the very last thing I would say is. “Who is John Galt?”

The most nonsensical part for me though was the existence of Galts Gulch-Atlantis or whatever they call the place where all the successful people flee to in order to escape enslavement by the government and greedy masses of socialist sub-monkeys. This place is utterly impossible with current technology. Even if you ignore its fantastical cloaking system which sooner or later somebody is going to bump into. Day to day life under this particular dome seems a bit odd, to put it mildly. The most jarring thing being when Dagny buys a small breakfast with a gold coin. A pretty big gold coin too, looked like it was about a third of an ounce. Galt’s Gulch seems to be an awfully expensive place to live.

All this gets into something that many people before me. Of many different political stripes have beaten to death. That the details of Galt’s Gulch make for a rather nonsensical and contradictory society. This also gets into a problem that has defined the Liberty Mission for as long as it has existed. Where can one run to in order to escape the rapaciousness of statists and their armies of minions? It used to be the United States. Now? Well, there have been many attempts to create such an enclave but such things don’t tend to work out very well.

In the second act we depart the Gulch, back to the rapidly collapsing People’s State of America. Where things are continuing to go completely to hell. Eventually culminating in an inevitable ending. Oh, and after the credits the producers thank a number of mainline Tea Party groups that are completely bought and sold by various republican power players. The acting in the film is not particularly good. Ragnar Dannesjold in particular comes across as a real jerk. Production quality is noticeably low at a few moments and the tone of the film is undeniably preachy.

That being said I liked the movie. I rate it a 3/5, and its a high three. If only because Atlas part three is relatively short. For the past few months I have been in long movie hell. It has driven me up the wall that every time I sit down to watch a movie. Be it an old film or a new release. It has to be at least two hours long. Preferably longer. Both of these movies are blessedly short. Secondly I think both of these movies make points on the subject of unchecked aggression that need to be made.

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