The motion picture Sound of Freedom is in the headlines these days, not because it’s doing something good like raising awareness of child sex trafficking, but because it’s secretly spreading a Q-Anon message. The message? Child sex trafficking is bad. Which is bad. Not the sex trafficking, of course — the message that child sex trafficking is bad.
I don’t know why anyone is surprised — hidden themes and messages have long been a tradition in Hollywood. The Q-Anon message in Sound of Freedom is far from anything new.
Example 1: How The Grinch Stole Christmas is an expose on the late-stage realities of capitalism. The Grinch, portraying a cold and tiny-hearted Republican, foolishly believes he can steal the joy of Whoville by stealing their material possessions. What he doesn’t realize, of course, is the Whos are an enlightened people, and are more than happy to own nothing — and like it. In fact, they sing with joy upon being relieved of the burden of those material possessions.
It’s at this moment, when those soulful song notes rise to the heavens, that the Grinch realizes the Whos don’t care about the gifts they were exchanging — because they know that only through Who Privilege were they able to expend their personal time and labor to afford those gifts. Fairness of gift distribution is what they truly want, but their stupidity and greed has blinded them, thus preventing them from figuring out a way to do so.
The Grinch’s new insights cause him to transform — from a hateful Republican to a love-filled progressive … and as his heart further expands with kindness, so grows his symbolic value: From Republican, to progressive, to an all-knowing and generous government!
With his role in life now chiseled onto his heart, the Grinch does what he knows is best — he drives his sleigh into Whoville, delivering everything the Whos want or need, and distributes the presents equitably! The final scene is a real tear-jerker, as the Whos accept him into their homes, and happily share with him the very sustenance that keeps them alive — roast beast.
The film fades to black pointing to a peaceful utopian future, where the Grinch and the Whos become one.
Example 2: Another much misunderstood motion picture is True Grit, which on the surface seems to be nothing more than rollicking adventure with good guys, bad guys and justice. What’s not known is the entire point of the movie is summed up in final minutes.
During the face-off in the valley, you have Rooster Cogburn — the ultimate symbol of governmental law and order, who’s spent his career riding the region, reeling in those criminals who wantonly flaunt their second amendment rights, and refuse to adhere to the current rules put in place by the government.
Across the valley from Rooster is the dreaded “Lucky” Ned Pepper and his gang of thugs, accused of murder, but innocent until proven guilty and located on Indian lands where Rooster has no jurisdiction.
When Rooster announces his intention to kill Pepper, or take him to justice, Pepper responds that it’s a four-to-one fight. Rooster is unafraid, a symbolic nod to his governmental authority, and his knowledge that Ned Pepper and his men would need F-16s to defeat his monopoly on violence.
Pepper shouts to Rooster, “That’s bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!”
Even Rooster is shocked — in one sentence, Pepper has both fat-shamed him and made fun of the visually impaired. Pepper must die. In response, he proclaims, “Fill your hands, you son-of-bitch!”
There has been much debate about this line, but conventional wisdom states that Rooster is referring to Ned’s propensity to “fill his hands” with more than his equitable share of worldly resources, and that any woman who’d raise such a libertarian capitalist is a bitch.
Meanwhile, the film’s female character, Mattie Ross, is in a dry well filled with poisonous snakes. Some have criticized the screenwriter and director for failing to adequately cloak the symbolism here, as a three-year-old can figure out that Mattie symbolizes a helpless citizen, in need of governmental assistance, with slimy Republicans slithering in to suck dry her heart full of love for all. Texas Ranger La Boeuf — an obvious symbol of innocent and benevolent governmental authority — rescues Mattie from the Republicans, then dies heroically… never having asked for recognition or commendations. He goes into nothingness (because there’s no God) as a true public servant, on par with those in Congress.
After killing Ned Pepper and his men without a trial (Rooster being government-in-human-form can do such things), Rooster scoops up Mattie, throws her on her horse, Little Blackie, and tears off, bound for single-payer medical care. En route, Mattie protests that Rooster is riding Little Blackie to death — but Rooster knows best. The death of a privately-owned horse pales in his duty as a protector of helpless Citizen Mattie.
Mattie is saved, and Rooster moves on to his next assignment as protector of the current governmental narrative. All’s well that ends well.
Example 3: Despite the decades that have passed since its initial release, The Jungle Book and its modern interpretations offer many lessons hidden beneath a timeless and fun-filled surface.
A native boy named Mowgli is found abandoned by the panther Bagheera, and raised in a junglehold headed by two Republican wolves: Raksha (she/it) and Rama (he/it). In their home, rules, personal responsibility, and respect are of utmost importance. It has been opined that the despised wolves were chose as the parents, because wolves foolishly mate for life, protectively raise their young, and face the problems of life as cohesive family and community.
As Mowgli grows, he becomes friends with his rescuer — the logic-driven and worldly-wise Bagheera, as well as Baloo the Bear — a slothish fellow who believes it is not his responsibility to add value to the jungle community, and instead lays about, encouraging Mowgli to do the same.
As the plot advances, Bagheera and Baloo battle for the soul of the boy, and at one point encounter King Louie, the orangutan. King Louie is clearly a capitalist, focused only on his own well-being, and covetous of man’s red flower — fire.
Because Mowgli was raised by wolves he doesn’t know how to make fire, but the evil money-grubbing monkey won’t let well enough alone. Bagheera and Baloo arrive to save Mowgli, and in the chaos King Louie’s castle collapses on him.
Sic semper capitalists.
Mowgli knows, that in the end, he must choose: Life as a responsible member of the jungle under the tutelage of Bagheera, or a life as a hanger-on, following the lead of Baloo.
When Baloo sees Mowgli leaning to embrace the better angels of his soul, he strikes back with the one way he knows will derail Mowgli. It will mean the loss of his personal control of the boy, but will ensure he doesn’t fall prey to Bagheera’s life of boring duty, cooperation, and service.
Brilliantly, he lures Mowgli to the edge of a human village, where Mowgli sees one of his own: A smoking hot chick. Immediately Mowgli’s mind turns to sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and he heads into the hedonistic big city, where he will no doubt die of STDs, alcoholism, or a drug overdose.
Bagheera is crushed to have lost another friend to the ways of the progressives. And Baloo, while sad he too has lost a friend, heads back to the jungle with a smile…while it’s true he couldn’t enjoy watching Mowgli’s destruction up close, he feels a glow of happiness that he’s done his part — successfully setting the boy on a path that would ensure his destruction.
Example 4: Titanic is also a film with a great deal of messaging, albeit obvious at times.
The ship, of course, represents the degenerate wealth and greed of Republicans, complete with “steerage class” where the man be keepin’ the good people down.
James Camron wastes no time setting us up with the key characters:
Billy Zane plays a Republican with acting chops unseen since Christopher Walken starred in The Deer Hunter. He is mean, materialistic, arrogant, rude, judgmental, and misogynistic.
Kate Winslet plays the Centrist, unsure of herself or what she believes. She is innocent, confused, and hot to be a conservative chick, but is unsure of the life of luxury offered by Zane’s despicable character.
Finally, there is Leo DiCaprio, who plays the plucky idealistic Democrat, who knows life is about experiences, not money. Not experiences like the experience of sailing aboard the Titanic in first-class, but stupid shit, like riding a roller coaster or a horse on the beach. He is handsome, whimsical, insightful, philosophical, kind, smart, resourceful, and brave. Not brave enough to serve in the military, but — you know, brave.
The fight for Kate’s allegiance begins early, when Leo teaches her to hawk up phlegm, and spit it on the proles below. Billy Zane doesn’t take a shine to this behavior, as he’d prefer his best girl be with him in the bar, drinking 12-year-old scotch — not spitting on those less fortunate.
The plot moves along, and Leo — behind Billy Zane’s back — begins to draw Kate in via his feelings. Billy Zane is unable to counter this loving approach, because has an actual job, and can’t afford to spend his days frolicking to and fro, and declaring himself “King of the World,” despite the fact he’s homeless and unemployed.
Leo’s vulnerability and feelings win Kate the Centrist over, and he promptly screws her, because of course he does—that’s what Democrats do as soon as they get someone on their plantation.
This is so unacceptable, Billy Zane drives the ship into an iceberg, obviously a symbolic representation that Republicans would rather sink the ship of state than share. Lots and lots of people die, because that’s what Republicans want. Billy Zane doesn’t die, however, because he successfully boards a lifeboat by bribing a coxswain, who apparently thinks cash is useful in Davy Jones’ Locker.
Leo and Kate end up in the freezing water, clinging to a floating door that obviously has enough room on it to float two people. Leo gives Kate a feelings-filled stump speech, which causes her to officially register as a Democrat. Her heart is transformed, and as her first act she kicks Leo off the raft to die … because of course she did.
(Click to view)
In summation: It is a given that a film like Sound of Freedom should be attacked, because the lead actor is a devout Christian, and the man he plays walked away from a government job to do actual good in the world. With that kind of hatefulness on full display, it only makes sense to use every ounce of the media’s strength to sabotage the movie, and destroy whatever good it might be doing.
What can we do together to bring better films to light? We need to support the films that outright dispense with the symbolism, and just shove the real message in our face. We need to speak with our wallets — and start with Disney’s righteous efforts.
When they turn the Seven Dwarves into Seven Magical Creatures, we need to flood the theatres!
When they added lesbian characters kissing to Lightyear, we need to buy extra tickets to give to neighbors!
When they added a non-binary character to Pixar’s film Elemental, we should be causing day-long traffic jams to get there!
When they release a film like Strange World, which boasts a gay main character and includes his teenage romance, they shouldn’t lose $200 million — they should make $2 billion!
These tweaks and changes are critically important, because they are important … for the chiiiiiiildren. Just think how much better off you’d be if your parent had explained gay buggery to your 6-year-old self on the way home from Swiss Family Robinson!
Yes, we may have failed in our efforts to stop Sound of Freedom from becoming a national phenomenon … but that’s because we allowed it to be made in the first place.
But … stay of good cheer, Comrades … we should have that little free speech speed bump paved flat before long.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile. Oh, and if you want to see his preferred bio pic? Click here …
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