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Why have there been so many dystopian fantasies on the big screen recently, and why have they all done reasonably well? Among many people there is a prevailing sense of dread. Doomsday Preppers would not exist unless it struck a real nerve in the American public. And this tension is felt by both the political left and the right. From the Iraqi War to the HHS Mandate, from the Common Core to Citizens United, it many people feel they are on a precipice, moments away from destruction. A common factor is the violation of individual autonomy, and the solution is obvious. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Unlike the baby-boomers who created this mess, millennials still hold to this dream, and these films affirm their expectations. Everyone has the right to seek the Truth and live free from coercion. In many ways, The Giver is an often dreary and even unpleasant cinematic experience, but it tackles important topics and I hope it does well at the box office and serves as a challenging wake-up call.
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Another surprisingly counter-cultural feature is the positive depiction of the importance of a nuclear family. Deprived of real parents, the State becomes the ultimate authority for everyone. Jonas’ mother (Katie Holmes) even spies on him and reports his unorthodox actions to the Chief Elder (Meryl Streep). Jonas feels a special connection to Fiona, but until he receives the memories he has no word for it: love. He convinces her to stop taking her injections and shares a private kiss. This stirs something unseen in her, and she agrees to help him escape. Together, they are able to give Gabriel a chance at life and become, in an odd way, his parents. The Giver argues that children deserve a mother and a father, and that social and political roles are a mirror of the family, not the other way around.
The Giver by Lois Lowry - review | Children's books | …
The Giver is a dark and disturbing tale that often hits too close to home to be enjoyable, but it should challenge the complecency of many viewers. Some films focus too much on “ideas” rather than the story narrative; The Giver is an idea movie on steroids that spends far too little on plot and character development while throwing out a huge number of themes, yet without getting into much depth. In short, it’s a mile wide but an inch deep. While movies should touch on difficult topics, they should still be entertaining. The Giver is as entertaining as its grim color palate and a bit vague in its central message—but it is still compelling.