Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Yeah, I Took My Kids to See "Mad Max: Fury Road"
Here's the plot.
Following a nuclear war, vast wastelands are controlled by anyone who can get enough water and gasoline to dominate the people around him. "Immortan Joe" (Hugh Keays-Byrne) leads a cult centered around the flourishing of his own sons, many of whom have a genetic disease that requires regular blood transfusions as treatment. Mad Max (Tom Hardy), the antihero of the series, is captured and turned into a human blood bank. When "Imperator Furiosa" (Charlize Theron) is sent out in her war rig on a mission to retrieve gasoline, Immortan Joe soon realizes that she is attempting to escape, along with his five wives (called "breeders"), one of whom is pregnant. The rest of the movie is the most epic, violent, and stylized car chase in film history.
It's simple really. One of the most grievous errors of our time is that many people (especially leaders, educators, and the media) thoroughly misunderstand human nature. The prevailing view is this: Human beings are basically good and only want comfortable lives. Cruelty and selfishness arise when people are prevented from living comfortable lives. Hence, by combatting poverty and oppression, we can eventually achieve a utopia.
This is the silly perspective behind the U.S. government's insistence that we can defeat jihad by giving jobs to terrorists.
The writers of dystopic films tend to have a better grasp of human nature, and George Miller (who wrote all four of the Mad Max films) has a unique ability to peer directly into the human soul. He is somehow able to visualize what the world would be like if the current grounds of ethics and civilized behavior were to break down. The result? "The future belongs to the mad."
Watching a Mad Max film is like reading about certain pre-Christian societies (e.g., the Canaanites or Ammonites) and adding in modern vehicles and weapons. Sure, it's a bloody mess. But if we want our kids to understand what fallen human nature looks like, there's no better way to show them.