Saturday, December 4, 2010

Harry Potter gets real

Saw "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" Part 1 yesterday. Not my usual indie movie but family life gets me to these mainstream biggies. I was impressed at the history education and social justice themes in it. It looked to me like the story of the coming to power of Adolf Hitler retold as an allegory with a popular set of fantasy characters. The Adolf Hitler character is "Voltemort": power-hungry and irrationally racist. The movie starts with him taking effective control of the government of the magically talented people of Britain who live in a kind of semi-parallel dimension. Excellent depiction of the totalitarian screws going on for this population including an allegory of the persecution of the Jews. The title character "Harry Potter" operates like a kind of French Resistance leader. These themes have been in the series all along but bizarrely mixed with a child entertainment aim. This movie is much more focussed on its Hitler allegory theme and IMO is much better for it.

And there's more. This Kafkaesque movie references Orson Welle's "The Trial" (1962). This starts with the bleaching of colour and use of grey sets to get a monochrome look to restaging Welle's famous typing pool scene. Ref "The Trial" trailer:

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