‘”Ana mish politi” — I am not political. So declares the character of Kareem, a Palestinian rapper and protagonist of the film Junction 48. For Palestinians, Kareem explains, being political is not a choice.
Tamer Nafar, the musician-turned-actor who stars as Kareem in the award-winning movie, performed the song “Ana mish politi” live at Israel’s equivalent of the Oscars, the Ophir Awards, in 2016. “Hummus, salad, chips on the side, you like to eat at our restaurants — this is coexistence,” he sang. “But when I bring too many of us to the restaurant, coexistence turns into a demographic threat.”
Nafar concluded his powerful performance by holding his clenched fist high in the air in a Black Panther-style salute. The rapper also read a poem by legendary Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Israel’s far-right government was furious. Extreme right-wing Culture Minister Miri Regev stormed out of the ceremony in a rage.’
‘A Clockwork Orange is a film about MK Ultra, and not only that, it is about the truest, fullest and most dangerous aspect the years of programs under that moniker – that pop culture itself is a form of that mind control, that the masses are actually a kind of Alex deLarge writ large. Premiering in 1971, some eleven years after the novel’s release, Kubrick’s version is rightly praised for its vision, art direction and message, yet as time propels us forward into the uncertain future, the dystopian feel of the film seems less shocking. One could argue that is because of the intense popularity of apocalyptic dystopias in fiction and film, or is it because we actually are moving inexorably into the abyss of Alex’s demented, absurd world?’
‘It’s no secret that the CIA, the U.S. government, and the cabal have some serious ties in Hollywood. Much of what we watch for ‘fun’ is actually propaganda that’s fed to us in order to shape our thoughts and values. We’re told what to wear, how to act, what our goals should be, and who we should love and hate, all through the media.
Not many people know this, but the CIA has an entire department dedicated to the entertainment industry. It’s run through the CIA’s Entertainment Industry Liaison Office, which collaborates in an advisory capacity with filmmakers. The CIA doesn’t just offer guidance to filmmakers, it even offers money. In 1950, the agency bought the rights to George Orwell’s Animal Farm and then funded the 1954 British animated version of the film. Its involvement had long been rumoured, but only in the past decade have those rumours been substantiated.’
The Neon Demon is painful to watch. Not only is it filled with long hypnotic sequences that emphasize the shallow self-importance of the fashion world, it deliberately dwells on some of the most upsetting human practices possible including pedophilia, necrophilia, cannibalism and ritual killings. All of these horrors are presented in an aesthetically pleasing matter and placed in a cool, fashionable context in an apparent attempt to normalize them.
Like most of the entertainment analyzed on the Vigilant Citizen, this movie leaves a foul feeling, as if one’s very soul was violated by what was just witnessed. Of course, this kind of result from a “psychological horror movie” is to be expected, but the most disturbing part of this movie isn’t the fiction: It is the dark “real world” truths it appears to celebrate.’
‘There’s a widely spread prejudice that George Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy is fundamentally – even exclusively – based on Joseph Campbell’s idea of monomyth. It is, we are told, primarily a portrait of “hero’s journey”, embodied in the exploits of Luke Skywalker, starting off on his path to achieve the maturity and spiritual accomplishment in a quite modernized, to the century of self(ish) appropriated, theory of ancient pedagogical method, intended to paint “the veritable image of truth” (Plato) when rational argument fails to express it.
Although Campbell’s influence is duly noted by Lucas and some other leading filmmakers of his generation, my intuition for some time was that there’s something more fundamental and at the same time more mundane to quasi-mythical subtext of Star Wars films.’
‘The logoi become a unifying, objective metaphysical principle in the divine Person of the Logos. This is why Genesis 1 describes God speaking and creating through His Logos. What is interesting about the recent philosophically-focused science fiction film Arrival is that, while scratching and floundering around in the dark, it hits upon this issue – and predictably provides an incoherent, inconsistent solution, as we will see.
Arrival is a film about language and meaning, and ultimately about the Tower of Babel, with the author of the film’s story also penning “Tower of Babel.” In modern philosophy, the dismissal of metaphysics was replaced with linguistic philosophy, where endless questions and disputes about how words can “mean,” when words are socially constructed symbols becomes a loop of circular contradictions, much like the alien language in the film.’