Friday, December 30, 2005

Finally Saw "Serenity"

My husband got me the DVD of Serenity for Christmas, and now i can finally see the conclusion to the "Firefly" saga. It was a lot of fun and made me think. But, as usual, the thinking got complicated. If you've seen it, did you notice the theological undertones? The villian, a ruthless bounty hunter and agent of the government, believes that he is working to help create "a world without sin." By extension, we are led to believe that the government he represents also believes in, and is trying to create, a world without sin. Noble, but look at how the movie presents that effort:We finally discover that the race of unimaginably barbaric space raiders, known as Reavers, were the accidental by-product of the government's attempt at scientifically creating this world without sin. They had put something in the air at this one colony that was supposed to stop agression. To their horror, most of the people lost all motivation for everything, stopped working, talking, eating, and essentially just laid down and died. The rest of the colonists had the opposite reaction, turning into a band of cannibalistic, self-mutilating, brutal and unrestrained marauders - the reavers.

The antagonist/Governement agent's task is to stop the crew of the Serenity before they discover this fact. The movie implies that attempts to create a perfect world can only result in more harm, and that some level of agression is necessary for a healthy life/society. The hero of the film is Serenity's captain, who openly admits that he favors "all 7" sins and states, "I mean to misbehave." All of this is within the context of fighting for truth and self-preservation, and i am sympathetic to his battles against a corrupt government. But what does this say about the nature of good and evil? Must doing the higher good always be accomplished through sin and lawlessness? Must the pursuit of a better society always be futile? Can a "world without sin" only be achieved through totalitarian governments, the destruction of all who stand in the way, and biological experimentation?

It is as if we are truly ignorant of the possibility that the world could be changed by our self-sacrifice rather than our violence.

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