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Monday, December 19, 2011

The Backwater Gospel

Every now and then, you come across a clip of such brilliance and beautiful work that you just got to share it with the world. The following clip is one such video.

Please enjoy, The Backwater Gospel .

According to the video description, The Backwater Gospel is a bachelor film project, from what I presume to be a group of students. That is pretty impressive.

What I liked about this short work, is that with just the cast of a handful of characters, the creators were able to tell story with a message. With the likes of Twilight and their horde of fans flooding the market, God knows we are in need of some good storytelling. And that is what we have here.

From this point on, I will be talking at length on my thoughts on The Backwater Gospel. Spoilers will be includes, so if you haven't watched it yet, please do.

First of all, apart from the obvious religious message, one has to question the role of the Undertaker. The entire story does revolve around his presence. Is he necessarily evil? We do see devilish wings growing out of his back in certain scenes, and he can be said to be the catalysis that lead to the catastrophic events in the town. Who is he?

In my opinion, the Undertaker is a force of nature. Like the Death he represents, he comes naturally to the town to remove their dead...or soon to be dead, as it is. But he does not bring death. People die whether or not the Undertaker comes....but the townsfolk have linked the Undertaker's presence to the eminent death of somebody in the community. Of course, no one wants to die, and so they barricade themselves in their homes to protect themselves from the outside threat.

The Undertaker, however, sat unmoving from the center of the town. And so the villagers waited for someone to die, praying that it would be them. The days go by, and supplies became scarce. At their wits end, they turn to their spiritual leader, with disastrous results.

If we look at this from a metaphorical point of view, the Undertaker can be said to be the avatar for one of two things: change, or the Outsider.

Why change? Change comes, whether you want it or not. As the saying goes, "The only constant is change." But as human beings, we are always looking for stability. We want something solid in our lives, something that we can hold on to. That is why we resist change. Unfortunately, change, when it comes, is here to stay, as evident by the Undertaker arriving to, and refusing to leave, from the village. The video can be interpreted as saying that it is futile to resist change, and that trying to do so can lead to disaster. Inside, if we can accept the change (ie to say, accept presence of the Undertaker), and go on with life, then things will work out. This can be seen in how nothing happened to the bard throughout the week, even through he has been sitting pretty much right in front of the Undertaker the whole time.

If we choose to look at the Undertaker as the Outsider, then pretty much the same point holds. In our globalized world, it is not uncommon to be working beside people who are foreign to your country. This is espeically so in my home country of Singapore, where our loose immigration laws has seen an influx foreign nationalities moving to the country for work or other purposes.

This has, of course, lead to a conflict of interests between them as us, the people. We do feel that they are here, taking our jobs, scoring our grades (and messing up my bell curve, haha). Like the villagers in the video, tensions can run high, at times. Take, for example, the Lambing Flat riots in Sydney. That is an example of what can come to terms if we are unable to accept the presence of foreigners within the country - not just accepting, but welcoming them with open arms and making them a part of the society.

If not, you will end up like this lady here:

Of course, I understand that it takes two hands to clap. The foreigners have to try to adapt themselves into the host culture too, instead of hanging around their own ethic groups. Like, if the Undertaker had bothered to talk to the villagers, or if the villagers had bothered to talk to him, then perhaps we might not have had such a bloody ending.

That's about the Undertaker. Now, like I said earlier, there's a very obvious message about the role of religious in the whole video. And because I'm pretty lazy, I'm not going to talk about them. If you want to do so, feel free to post a comment down below, and we can discuss things.

1 comment:

Society in Quezon City said...

Your video was caught my attention. We also have train like this here in our home town Quezon city. It such like the same train traveling around the city.