Exiles of the System
I’ve been comparing the finales of both The Holy Mountain and Revolutionary Girl Utena recently, as both works are obsessed with rituals. Utena ultimately rejects the patriarchal system that governs the school (read: world), and leaves it entirely. Holy Mountain does things differently. About a group on a quest to become immortal, their leader, The Alchemist (played by director Alejandro Jodorowsky), gives a speech worth watching in its entirety. Suffice to say that Jodorowsky pulls back the curtain, asserting that true reality awaits outside the celluloid. The film reveals itself as a ritual for consumption. Illusions are broken much like Utena, though in a different way. While Utena critiques the rituals and systems that support patriarchy, Holy Mountian comments on the illusory nature of art, the consumption of texts as ritualistic escapism. Holy Mountain does reject ritual in of itself, illustrating its transformative power, but also acknowledges its finite nature.