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Land of the Blind (2006)
To put it simply, this film is George Orwell's Animal Farm as told by the makers of Memento. It covers a dark subject, and embraces the darkness associated with it.
This film is set in a fictional country that takes elements from many utilitarian countries around the world to give us things to relate to. To me the most interesting was the Kim Jong-il analogy. A president for life who succeeds his father and is very interested in the film industry. Others will likely see other references.
As the film progresses, we follow this country through stages of governmental upheaval. We ride on the shoulder of an idealistic prison guard as he chooses sides, and faces the consequences of that choice.
As the movie was building, I felt like it was building a Pro-Terrorism Utopian government, but in the end I was left hopeless, because of each plot turn making the movie yet more dour.
Symbolism abounds, and you will find yourself trying to locate the meanings of the symbols, which are perhaps a tad too convoluted for my tastes.
I was completely immersed in the story, and I found the progression of the movie to be very compelling, but the overall message of hopelessness clashed with my youthful idealism.
I recommend this movie as debate fodder for political theorists. Its dark themes limit its audience otherwise.
Learn to hate Tracy Flick
You will laugh at Election, and you will either love it, or never understand why others are drawn it. It all hinges on you opinion of one of the main characters, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon).
You may never have seen the movie, but you know Tracy Flick. She is the person who always raises her hand in class. The person that studies for weeks for a 10-question quiz. The person that will volunteer for anything, as long as she can be in charge. She is the person that tries way too hard to achieve titles, positions and awards that the rest of us consider not THAT important.
If you like the movie election it is because you loathe Tracy. You don't hate her for what she does, or how she looks. You despise her for who she is. You hate her because we live in a world where people like her prosper. You hate her because you aren't her.
Election is a dark comedic take on morality. Interestingly enough, it is not the morality of action, but the morality of people. The "good" characters commit more acts that are "wrong" then the "evil" people, but since we understand their motivation for some of their actions, we cheer them on in their misdeed.
Election exploits the irony between what people think and what they do. One of the greatest scenes is when the three candidates say a prayer before the election. Their interior monologues are hilarious, and imaginative.
Finally, the ending scene of election is the perfect cap for the entire movie. You are inspired a character's desire to make the world a better place, and their method for carrying out this change will leave you chuckling for a long time.