Friday, 15 April 2011
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the Next Schindler's List
Before I get into anything too serious, I just want to ask one question: Why are people so upset about the scene in this movie where Dobby the House Elf dies? If you ask me, that’s like getting sad if Jar Jar had died in The Phantom Menace...
Fuck this guy.
I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One on Monday, and have only one major concern – well, 2 if you count the fact that I’m a 22 year-old who not only still watches kids’ films, but then brags about doing so online – were all those references to Nazi Germany and Religion in the book? It’s been years since I read it (I read the book the day it was released, but haven’t looked at it since), but I honestly don’t remember any analogies for Nazi Germany appearing in it. Yet when I watched the film, literally everything was to do with Nazis or Jews. SERIOUSLY.
...Or should I say… Siriusly?
Firstly, we have the whole round-table discussion at the start, where the death eaters all meet to discuss the problem with muggle-born wizards, and how muggles are an inferior race to wizards, which is strangely reminiscent of the Wannsee Conference (Which, incidentally, had a film (‘Conspiracy’) based on it starring Kenneth Branagh, who played Gildroy Lockhart in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’, as a Nazi). But this is just the beginning of the comparisons. When Harry, Ron and Hermione sneak into the Ministry of Magic later in the film, we see all the muggle-borns being rounded up, and reviewed, and put on trial on various trumped up charges. Everything about this scene was clearly written as a thinly veiled analogy for the Holocaust, from Umbridge accusing a Muggle-Born Witch of stealing her wand from a pure-blood, to Harry’s extraordinarily Gestapo-looking leather Jacket. I’m also certain we at some point see a shot of a Muggle-Born witch or wizard with the word “Mudblood” carved into their left forearm. Hmm… a mark on the left forearm? That’s not overly obvious…
Hell, even the scenes set in the woods in the snow when Harry and Hermione are jumping around from place to place and hiding out reminded me of the movie “Defiance” (with none other than the Tank himself, Liev Schreiber), and I couldn’t help but feel that this was also intentional, if not to parallel that movie directly then at least to correspond to images from the War of Jews hiding in woods on the Eastern Front to avoid being sent to the Concentration Camps.
In Soviet Russia, Horcrux Destroys YOU!
In fact, I would say it’s just about impossible to watch this movie without making comparisons with the Holocaust. Hell, Lord Voldemort was the SS Officer in charge of the Concentration Camp in Schindler’s List, for fuck’s sake. But my question is – why?
Oh, you thought I was kidding?
I mean, I get that it’s often a good idea to make your movie actually mean something, to stand for something – the comparisons made with the Nazis and the Communists in Starship Troopers made that film far more awesome. But why make comparisons with the Holocaust in a children’s film? I mean, it’s not the sort of thing you would really want kids to know about (unless you’re of the opinion that they’re gonna learn about this stuff at some point, so fuck it), and it’s a very dark subject area. Plus, you know, setting it in the wizarding world tames it all down, so it’s not as if the film is making a point about how terrible and diabolical the events were, and nor is it trying to show what can become of humans when driven by hate, or mislead by those in power. It is simply a side-plot, as though someone said “Hey, let’s put in references to the Holocaust – wouldn’t that be cool?” and the rest of the writers agreed with them.
Typical Writers' room session - in their defence, it is less than a week til 4/20.
But even if we ignore the whole Holocaust thing, what’s with Harry and Hermione deciding to go to his Birth Place on Christmas Eve? Harry’s Birthplace. On Christmas Eve. Are you following me? Then Ron finds them, by following a bright light, which guides him back to them. Hermione is a Muggle-Born, and Harry’s mother was as well. If we look back at the Holocaust comparison, it is clear that the muggle-borns are Jews. Two Jews travelling to the male’s birthplace at Christmas, and a man who travels from a far-away place to find them, guided by a bright light, whilst the evil ruler of the land sends his forces (his snake) to try and find and kill “the chosen one”. That’s right - It’s the motherfucking Bible.
Was this shit present in all the books, or even the other films, and I just never noticed it until now? Almost certainly. Yet still I find myself wondering: why?
Tell me Why...
Anyway, that’s all I really wanted to say – the movie is about as good as you’d expect, and well, there’s not all that much I can really say about it. The scene at the end where Voldemort opens Dumbledoor’s tomb could have been done differently, because as it was when the lid began to slide back I half-expected to see Thunderbird One come soaring out, but other than that I have no real complaints. The scene where Harry first leaves the house and tries to get to the Weasley’s is bitchin’, and looks as though it was from a proper action film, rather than just a wizards story aimed primarily at children, and although it did drag in places, I quite like the darker, slower tone of this film. It was cool seeing Rhys Ifans again, though I’m glad he and David Thewlis didn’t have a scene together – I wouldn’t want to see Professor Lupin whip his cock out and draw a face on it for Xenophilius and Luna, that would just have been beyond creepy…
and let's not even think about Lupin kneecapping Xenophilius...