NOTE: this post contains spoilers about the M. Night Shyamalan movie “The Village”. If you have not yet seen this movie, I highly recommend that you watch it before reading further. Go watch now!
When I watched The Village about 5 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed, after some friends who had also watched it came out disappointed. At the time I took it for an interesting mystery/thriller with a classic Shyamalan twist, but upon watching again, I picked up on some interesting – perhaps unintentional – metaphors. According to IMDB, the plot is “The population of a small, isolated countryside village believe that their alliance with the mysterious creatures that inhabit the forest around them is coming to an end.” Allow me to explain.
The Village is actually an 1800s-era village on a present day nature preserve. The elders of The Village were once everyday members of the modern-day society, but because of evils they had experienced in the real world, banded together and agreed to start a new life with a vision of hope, peace, and purity. There is a catch, though: in order to preserve their new way of life, they must somehow hide the real world from their progeny. Their solution to this problem is to perpetrate antiquated myths that there are violent creatures in the woods around them, and that anyone who would venture into these woods would surely die and bring the creatures’ wrath upon them all.
The comparison between this plot and the actual modus operandi of governments throughout history is striking. This is a classic example of what is known as a false-flag attack; that is, the powers that be create a problem that threatens the peoples’ way of life, the people clamor for security in reaction, then the governors provide a solution that is beneficial to their means. Problem-Reaction-Solution, aka, The Hegelian Dialectic – a paradigm known since the days of Roman Emperor Diocletian, millenia ago.
There have been many instances of this throughout history, and an exponential amount of alleged occurrences in recent history. Adolf Hitler and the Reichstag Fire. The Stock Market Crash of 1929. Operation Northwoods. Oklahoma City. 7/7 London. 9/11? Many would say it’s one for the ages. But these are only a select few instances out of a litany over the ages. Many times they are used as pretexts for war or for stealing of civil liberties, and most of the time welcomed by the general populace as a response to perceived threats. Sometimes they are even “well-intentioned” under perverse, utilitarian ideologies – an unwelcome reminder of the elitist, “we know what’s best for you” creed of a majority of those in power. For an example of this type, look no further than our own US government’s intentional failure to protect our own border – as even Barack Obama himself has implied recently, it provides easy ammunition to carry into battles of ideological compromise.
The moral which I took away from the story is to always question your surroundings and the fundamental circumstances of things, because sometimes they are not exactly as they seem. The Village: a metaphor that should pique the interests of us all.