Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/777/17301

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 August 2013

Film review: Elysium - an 'allegory for class warfare'

Brettros, CWI Austria

Elysium is a dystopian sci-fi action film starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. It follows the story of Max da Costa, a factory worker living in the ruins of Los Angeles in the year 2154.

In this future, the rich and powerful have fled the poverty, disease, and environmental destruction they've wrought on the world, and moved to a space station called Elysium.

There they live in an idyllic society, far removed from ordinary people's struggles on earth.

Like director Neill Blomkamp's critically acclaimed last film District 9, Elysium uses the sci-fi genre to explore social issues.

The major difference is that instead of humans exploiting and oppressing aliens, it is the super-rich exploiting and oppressing the overwhelming majority.

Asked in an interview whether Elysium reveals how he sees Earth in 140 years, Blomkamp responded "No, no, no.

"This isn't science fiction. This is today. This is now." He sees this movie as "meant to be an allegory for class warfare."

In fact the film, representing the future Los Angeles, a hell-hole of human misery, was shot in the modern-day slums of Mexico City.

The massive divisions between rich and poor, while set in the future, reflect what already exists under capitalism today.

The pay gap between American CEOs and workers has grown by 1,000% in the last 63 years (data from Bloomberg, April 2013).

In the US McDonald's workers are told to get a second job and work over 70 hours a week to make ends meet on minimum wage; hundreds of thousands of immigrants are deported each year, tearing families apart; the rich get the world's highest-quality healthcare, while the poor get by without health insurance or struggle to maintain low-quality coverage.

Unlike films which show the oppressors' "human" side, Elysium makes no attempt to humanise the rich and powerful.

They are either seen as blithely ignorant of the inhuman system of inequality and exploitation that they benefit from, or are consciously fighting to protect that system.

When a group of gangsters try to hijack a rich executive making his way to Elysium, the audience feels no sympathy for him; it's the same executive that runs the factory that has effectively killed Max - his only chance of survival is making it to Elysium.

The film doesn't say it explicitly, but the root of the problem is capitalism. Socialists say that this system that puts short-term profits ahead of all things, from the environment to workers' living conditions, must be replaced to achieve equality and real change.

The film shows Matt Damon fighting for humankind rather than the actual organising needed to establish a society that can meet the needs of all.

Nonetheless, this is a film worth watching.

This is an edited extract from a review that appears on socialistworld.net

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 28 August 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Stop cuts - Demand united action

Lobbying bill: don't let this Tory dream come true

The trial of Chelsea Manning

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

No to imperialist intervention in Syria

Egypt: al-Sisi's military tightens its grip on power


Socialist Party feature

"I have a dream" - 50th anniversary of march


'Youth Fight for Jobs' campaigning

Unionise to fight zero-hour contracts!

Nothing new at Sports Direct


Socialist Party workplace news

One Housing Group workers go into battle again

Unison: Tiny margin against Scottish local government strike

Coventry postal workers fight bullying management

The role of a workers' rep

Workplace In Brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fighting mood at meeting to defend Whipps Cross Hospital

Wales' Mid-Staffs crisis

Support the DPAC week of action

Carlisle - Building the anti-bedroom tax fightback

Arrest Cuadrilla bosses - not fracking protesters!

Socialist Party camp


Socialist Party reviews

Film review: Elysium - an 'allegory for class warfare'

Exhibition review: Lowry's one track vision


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 August 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Film:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleFilm - Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast

triangleWell-deserved ridicule of Stalinism is impressive, funny but flawed

triangleOctober 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Rich:

triangleTrump's tax attacks

triangle'Paradise' for billionaires - austerity for us

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Capitalism:

triangleFighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party: "I started to question whether there was a better way"

Poverty:

triangleEnd Tory war on poor

triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

US:

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

6/12/17

Fire

The Socialist Inbox

6/12/17

Surrey

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

6/12/17

Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

30/11/17

Theatre

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

22/11/17

Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

22/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

8/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/11/17

Obituary

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

8/11/17

Theatre

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

1/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2