January 15, 2015


With Snowpiercer, it is difficult to avoid the suspension of disbelief at times because of how comically simple the narrative is. The lack of sophistication makes it difficult in other words to take anything seriously, to try and find what the filmmaker is trying to say. By lacking a quality sophistication of the meditation on social hierarchy, chiefly because the film reduces so carelessly into violent gore as a gesture at holding a less mature audience’s gaze, the film’s efforts almost go to waste.


And the whole point of the film is to decide on whether or not one ought to accept one’s standing in society, or to try and live freely. Of course what is not comprehended by the film is that choosing a life of freedom creates necessarily a natural hierarchy. And I say it is not comprehended because I do not think the acceptance of any hierarchy at all is implied. The resistance towards an artificial one is often times construed as a resistance towards anything that resembles inequality, when factually inequality exists the moment one is born.


This fact is the core to the Marxian rebellion and comprises the entire egalitarian revolt against nature since the beginning of the French Revolution. When I say birth is necessarily an unequal act it is not to say that birth grants certain privileges. Any privilege that one is given at birth is not one that is permanent. And that is a fact that is ignored wholesale because it is meaningless to those resentful of themselves, of their own birth standing. They do not see the equal standing they have with others born out of the position of the anxiety of poverty. They do not see that privilege brings on its own form of anxiety – their entire spirituality is based on a material life, on buttered bread and dust to dust and not on the eternal. They fail to empathize with wealthier people simply because they fail to abandon their resentment of the world they seek to change. Understanding a universal aspect of humanity that is human freedom in other words is too complicated for those who wish to blindly situate their problems above anyone else’s. Birth will navigate oneself necessarily toward what one will be, which necessarily involves unique environmental conditions. And due to the uniqueness of each person beset by their environment, or the context in which their freedom situates itself, each person creates their own subjectivity, that which necessarily is separate and distinct from any other human free will and by this truth necessarily values the act of their free will unequally compared to others.


Egalitarianism is against all forms of hierarchy. All forms of order. Hence it is intrinsically anti-natural. It makes itself at attacking “preordained order”, but that is what nature necessarily derives from the cornucopia of humanity. Snowpiercer attacks an order which reflects luxury toward some and barrenness towards other, but in actuality this is a legitimate reflection of human freedom. Some subjects will create more than others. Good decisions lead toward luxury, bad decisions leads toward barrenness. The fixed or designed control of this order on the train deceives the audience into convincing themselves they seek a higher order, one where they relish where the chips may fall. But that is hardly the case given the inappropriate response to Civilization’s crisis that began with the September 11th attacks and climaxed with the financial crisis of 2008.


Grade: C



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