Mad Max: Fury Road and the Hope for Revolution
Thematic Spoilers Ahead, also read Binary Bastard’s review
Films are obsessed with our own demise recently. Whether it be comedy in This Is The End, standard blockbuster fair like Elysium, or The Hunger Games and its copycats, Hollywood found post-apocalyptic scenarios in vogue and is mining it for all its worth. However, Mad Max: Fury Road understands that post-apocalyptic fiction’s power lies in its commentative power. Fury Road excels because it has something to say about its state of affairs, not just use dystopia merely as a backdrop. Like another recent post-apocalytpic film, Snowpiercer, it illustrates to the audience the possibility of revolution.
Most importantly, Fury Road illustrates that we cannot merely escape the exploitative system interlocking systems capitalism and patriarchy (as bell hooks would put it, white supremacist capitalist patriarchy), but we must tear down these exploitative systems and rebuild a more just world. And this is true. As capitalism ravages our environment, our world, we find echoes of Max’s world manifest in our own. The subjugation of women. The exploitation of labor. The decaying world mined until its extinction.
Mad Max: Fury Road offers hope. Not only is it an oasis of exceptional filmmaking in a swath of mediocrity, but it shows the audience that yes, another world is possible, and that we all have the ability to fight for it. Its hope isn’t a cheap sentimentality, a glimmering trinket offered by the worst of tales who merely tell us to wait for “it gets better.” Mad Max: Fury Road illustrates the hope lingering in all of use to transform our world for the better.