The Dystopian Future Of The Purge

Can we come in to play?

Can we come in to play?

At this moment I’m watching the film The Purge. I’ve seen it lots of times so it’s okay if I type and watch it at the same time, don’t worry! No, I have not seen The Purge: Anarchy, mainly due to the fact that our movie theater here kind of sucks. I will see it though, by golly!

Why am I talking about this film? I simply love the idea of it. Once a year for twelve hours you can commit any act of violence and you won’t get in any trouble. Want to kill your boss because they’re a dick? Go ahead, it’s state sanctioned! Of course that wouldn’t happen in the society we currently live in. However, in the near future there is a new government that thinks that people are inherently violent. It seems to be working for them because unemployment and violence are both down, the former at an all time low of 1%!

What’s interesting to me is what could possibly be the back story of the kind of government that would allow this to happen. In the film they are called the New Founding Fathers. In my mind that conjures up visions of the far right and their tea-bagger brethren taking over the government and installing their new laws. On the surface this new society that they have built seems to be working, but at what price? This new government has quite a low opinion of the population if they think that people are just always going to be violent. I mean they have a point, but to advertise that kind of idea on a national level is dangerous and encourages people to go out and kill others for petty reasons.

Who are the kind of people who would indulge in this night of murder and mayhem? In the film it’s everybody, there is no single stereotype that goes out and murders. That is the real frightening part of all this. Your next door neighbor who brings you over cookies can secretly be jealous of you and want to kill you. You can’t trust a single person, except perhaps your own family. Even then doubts about whether you children really indeed hate you will race around in your mind that night. In the dystopian future maybe the way that people react to one another will be different from today. Perhaps people will be more polite in fear that the person that just stole their parking space will find them and kill them later on.

In this depiction of the future there are huge differences when it comes to class, and whether or not a person will survive this night. If you are poor you can’t afford security so you are forced to bunker down, hide and hope for the best. On the other hand if you are rich you can afford to buy the best security and feel more protected. In the film the security system isn’t as good as first thought so in the end even that can’t save you. Maybe there is something to be said about that. Even with all the money and material things you want you still can’t escape the fact that you could die. The New Founding Fathers must love the fact that The Purge gets rid of mostly the ‘undesirables’, that it solves the problem of having to provide for those who for whatever reason can’t help themselves.

Sometimes when I watch a dystopian film I dream about visiting that specific place in time but in this case I really don’t know if I’d want to inhabit it. Perhaps it is better to watch it depicted in a film that to really live through it.


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