Thanks to our public library, the wifey and I finally had a in home date night and watched Purge Election Year, the third movie in the Purge series. Not familiar with the horror franchise? It is another mirror of where a dystopian future that we may not be that far away from, written and directed by James Demonaco.
It is quite simply the shadowing of where corporate controlled populism leads. The New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) have “saved” the country by rising to power and instituting a purge night. 12 hours once a year where everything is legal and murder is encouraged with immunity.
As the series progresses you see the way this works out on different socio-economics, within the first two films certain political levels are protected. By the third installment the rebellion is beginning to take route, and there is a candidate heading for the oval office who is anti-purge. Cue the battle driven by the NFFA and the NRA (great lines of where Purge Night is brought to you by in the film I am still amazed made it through editing). As well, a look into the “Religious Right” cult that has formed around Purge night, with the elite holding Purge Mass to celebrate their own release, and the “herds” they have rounded up to execute slowly, including a plan to assassinate the voices of dissent this night.
Why do stories like this matter? Films, books and other forms of media speak out against what is wrong. As the story is revealed there becomes a parallel for the military complex, gun “rights” run amuck that are used to create our own purge in this day and age of the lower socio-economic classes.
For that is what “saved America” the outplaying of the story that if you are disadvantaged or ill it is your own cause storyline in extremist propaganda… so purge and release. The saving is that the majority killed during the purge are those that when it comes to simple black and red ink budgeting on government budget sheets come out as debits: the elderly, the sick, those on social assistance, etc.
A stark reality of showing how eugenics can still be used to play a role in our world, but also a warning of seeing people as labels and others, and breaking down our communities into debits/credits. Breaking people down to simply numbers, and not seeing people collectively as a whole, that we are here to support and move forward with.
Why do the Purge movies matter? Simple, populism, voices of the people, activists even politicians and corporations or religion are not the issue. The issue is when all these things become twisted for power and control in the role and ideology of fundamentalism and extremism hiding behind labels. These extremists that create an us and them society, that time and again throughout history have wreaked havoc and destruction of people and society. This is the warning once again found in art, through 3 simple horror movies, if we are willing to listen, constructively think, and realize there is different choices to be made.
So are you willing to answer the question of who is my neighbour?
Are we willing to acknowledge our neighbour as a value to society?
Are we willing to realize the purge needed is of the extremes? Purge the labels? Purge that which destroys and distorts?
Are we ready to purge and purify our true being to become one with one another?