Mad Max: Fury Road, Princess Mononoke: 6 Films That Will Trigger Your Inner Eco-Feminist
Eco-feminism is an intersection of women, nature and animals. To illustrate how the feminine is oppressed through the exploitation of the environment, the logic of domination needs to be understood. Simply stated, domination is the heritage of the masculine way of thought. To expand his territory, to domesticate nature and to exploit her fertility for himself—these are what has happened since the dawn of humanity until this very moment. As we are experiencing today, the backlash of years of oppression and exploitation is more palpable than ever, infiltrating the world of cinema. Here are a few films that will show you why mankind should fear mother nature.
1/6 Mother! (2017), Darren Aronofsky
The entirety of the film takes place inside a house where a couple dwell. The man writes while the woman turns the villa into an idyllic paradise. Things start to go wrong, however, when strangers intrude into the home as if it were theirs. In an unsettling manner, the man welcomes the strangers despite their rash and destructive behaviours. Unable to bear these uninvited guests' barbaric acts, including vandalism and homicide, the woman decides to end the madness once and for all. This film mashes together a multitude of issues, reflecting our rash behaviours as a species. The ending will leave you with a misanthropic lingering.
2/6 Princess Mononoke (1997), Hayao Miyazaki
Though released 23 years ago, Princess Mononoke is timeless and more relevant than ever. The adventurous narrative that follows a battle between the forest spirits and humans is drenched in green messages. In fact, the word Mononoke is not a name but refers to a kind of shapeshifting entity thought to be the embodiment of grudge or unfulfilled wishes. Although the animation is whimsical and captivating to audiences of all ages, you cannot help but feel nature’s fury.
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3/6 Teeth (2007), Mitchell Lichtenstein
We would not say Teeth is the best movie ever made, but the message is there. This B-grade horror takes us on an uncomfortable journey with the teenager protagonist, Dawn, as she struggles to grow comfortable in her own skin. Through a series of sexual assaults, she bites back. As foreshadowed in the very first scene, a nuclear plant hints at something malevolent lurking in the town. Messing with nature does not always have immediate results, not until she mutates.
4/6 The VVitch (2015), Robert Eggers
Set in 1630s New England, a patriarch and his family are forced out of a settlement to survive in the wilderness. Despite strict piety and discipline, bizarre curse-like occurrences follow one after another. Thomasin, the eldest daughter, is soon faced with blame for everything that has happened. With her life threatened by both of her devout Puritan parents, Thomasin is given a new life deep within the woods.
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5/6 Soylent Green (1973), Richard Fleischer
In 2022, everything wrong with the world today is amplified in an apocalyptic state. Nature is annihilated and earth suffers from extreme overpopulation, global warming and food shortages, while only the elites can afford natural foods and spacious living. To deal with overpopulation, capital punishment and euthanasia are widely practised and people are shown images of the long lost nature before death. Soylent is what is fed to the population, and of all its variations, Soylent Green is the most popular. What though is being fed to the people? Watch the film to discover the secret of Soylent Green.
6/6 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), George Miller
This film is on this list not because of the so-called feminist Furiosa, but because the film aptly portrarys exactly what is wrong with consumerism. One thing amongst many is how women are oppressed and objectified. Food and water are depleted in the world of Mad Max while the most violent monopolise the water source. To fight the oppression, a de-feminised heroine joins forces with Max to fight their nemesis. Throughout the movie, we see the glamourisation of the collapsed world of capitalism, the reason for ecological disintegration.
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