Midsommar by Ari Aster

[Midsommar by Ari Aster, Genre: Film Review, 631 words]

‘Midsommar’ is a film produced in 2019 by visionary director Ari Aster.

It all begins with the revelation that climate change is real and the climate change deniers were wrong and follows the journey of a group of twenty somethings as they deal with the catastrophic changes that that revelation brings.

It involves a Swedish village that operates in an old form style of Pagan type mentalities. With the revelation of climate change and watching this film, and if you ever watch this film, you have to ask yourself, ‘At what point do you stop calling this Swedish village paradise?’

Think of the concept of Euthanasia. The fact that we all die one day and you will understand my particular viewing of this film. With everything going on in the background of history while watching this film. The particular backdrop of our contemporary history. As a species we have to ask ourselves at which point did we stop calling this stylized form of life paradise? I bring up that question to the viewer because the Swedish village is free of technology. The lifestyle represented in this film is completely fossil fuel free with the exception of the intruders of the village who wish to write a cultural study on the inner workings of this form of life.

A pagan lifestyle would have been free of these type of human technological interventions. And viewing it in film form gives the viewer some context into what life would have been like without the religious and technological revolutions that occurred in human history.

Texts like Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ which features the rebellion of the angels against the forces of history also provide some context onto these historical revolutions that have led us up to this point in history. All of this I believe is the true ideological conception of ‘Midsommar’. And we have to ask ourselves when viewing the film. Which is more traumatic? When viewing the context of our current predicament as a species. Which is more shocking? The fact that these people were living in harmony with nature and maintaining a style of life that was not having mass effects on the climate? Or is it the grotesque incidents of violence that occur during the film? For myself, the chaotic occurrences of this semi-formed picture of paradise provide some peace to the mind. If it were not dysfunctional in the way that the film portrayed. If it was entirely peaceful… Then that would be more disturbing than the violence portrayed in the film.

As for the cinematography and other elements of the film. The first part is portrayed in a dream-like state. The characters seem to be dancing through the chaos of the current revelations in our history. Capturing the trauma of these twenty-something year olds, it brings peace to the disturbed or traumatized soul rather than disturbing them. And for that it is a must-watch film.

The film is described as a fairy tale. Because the Swedish village that’s being represented in the film. The elements of Paganism and pre-Christian symbolism used in the film is a fairytale. In the old form. Before we had a revolution of Disney films that portrayed fairy tales with their beautiful endings, we had the Brother’s Grimm that helped destroy the imaginings of a beautiful world. Dispelling people’s illusions that we were living in peace and harmony with the rest of the world and that life was truly beautiful. Disney disillusioned their audiences, while films like this go on to destroy those illusions. Which is essential to our functioning within this world.

Despite the horrific conception of this pre-Christian lifestyle. It seems partially debilitating that the lives of the villagers are, at the very least, contained within their numb like happiness of living simple lives.

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