"The obsession with power,
will and hierarchy in Peter Jackson's film trilogy adaptation
of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic The Lord of the Rings fuels its dangerous
topicality: a vindication and veneration of empire."
"We are living in times
when the public rhetoric is medieval. Politicians and pundits
invoke the words good and evil casually, as if the age of reason
never happened. They speak proudly of killing, bullet-ridden
corpses are triumphantly paraded. And like in Lord of the Rings,
we define evil by demographics. The bloodline, the colour of
skin, the ethnic background or nationality makes someone immediately
"Can one judge a film
with the morals of politics? Is Lord of the Rings seen differently
in the United States than it is in Europe where the majority
of people were against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?
A fable is "a narration intended to enforce a useful truth."
When I look at the Lord of the Rings as the fable its author,
J.R.R. Tolkien, intended it to be, I see a world clearly divided
into races and regions of leader and followers, I see Calvinist
pre-determinism and I see the vindication and veneration of empire
unfolding in frame after frame."
"I can't lay the sole
blame for the Lord of the Rings' atavistic classicism, racism
and xenophobia with either auteur or author."
"The evil creatures have
darker skin and flat broad features, some wear turbans, others
ride atop elephants in flat gazebos reminiscent of those that
carried Indian maharajas."