So yesterday I splurged and blew some Christmas money on a post-apocalypitc double header. I went to see The Book of Eli in the afternoon and The Road in the evening, both post-apocalyptic movies released recently. I enjoyed both of them, but I’m also a sucker for post-apoc (let’s just shorten that, shall we? I spell it wrong every time I have to type it out).
If you’re interested, The Road is based on the bleak Cormac McCarthy novel and is, well, bleak. Like most post-apoc, it has a thread of hope, though hope in The Road is the thinnest bit of thread. On a scientific level I also have issues with the nature of the apocalypse (what killed all the animals, insects and plant life but not the people?). But that also makes it that much more bleak. The Book of Eli is more your typical post-apoc based on a mysterious wanderer with a mission. In this case Denzel Washington is trying to safe-guard the last known copy of the Bible. It an interesting premise to pair with a sword-wielding assassin guy who’s hand-chopping skill earns the movie an R-rating. You’d think those audiences wouldn’t have much crossover.
The Book of Eli does a nice job summarizing one of the aspects of post-apoc that I always find fascinating:
“We had more than we needed,” Eli says, remembering what life was like pre-apoc. “We had no idea what was precious and what wasn’t. We threw things away that people kill each other for now.”
That’s why I find post-apoc so fascinating. It strips away all the junk of life and forces us to realize what’s important. In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti we get a glimpse of life in a post-apocalypse state. We got an update from the organization my church supports in Haiti that several hundred people spent each night in a soccer field near the church praying, singing and sharing meals.
When the end of all things comes, only what truly matters is left.