Mar 25, 2008


A few days ago, Lotus07 recommended that I watch a film that has been playing on the Internets for almost a year now. I mentioned the pagan holiday that Easter is derived from and he thought I would get a kick out of the first part of this film. It's called Zeitgeist - The Movie, and it's a well done if disturbing piece of film making. For more reasons than one.

It's a fairly redundant work made by some people who might be classified as Conspiracy Theorists, depending on your point of view. Nothing really new, but its the first time that I had seen its three main arguments included as a part of one larger whole. Let me summarize for you:

Part I: The Greatest Story Ever Told - This relates the theory that Jesus (and really the whole Christian religion) was possibly not an actual human being, but rather a literary and astrological hybrid of sorts. As most of us know, many of the trappings of Christianity were borrowed from earlier religions, be they monotheistic or pagan. It's taken to the nth level here, and it's all done in a very interesting and convincing way, even if there is not a lot of validity to many of the comparisons that they make. Sure some of them are true...freaky even, but there is a lot included that simply has no known basis in historical record. It's fun though. Check out the comparisons of the Egyptian God Horus and Jesus of the New Testament here. There are many Christian sites that debunk each comparison so you can check those out as well if you would like. That's a fun waste of a few hours.

Part II: All the Worlds a Stage - Most of us have already seen or read about the major points made in this section of the film. It's 9/11 Conspiracy Theory and it has been going around the Internets since shortly after the event itself. Nothing new here at all.

Part III: Don't Mind the Men Behind the Curtain - This one was a bit more complicated. According to the filmmakers, powerful international bankers have been controlling this country's wealth through the Federal Reserve System by orchestrating the wars and major financial events of the past century. This is all part of a larger conspiracy to create One World Government which will then be controlled by this elite partnership. And here I thought that it would be fella like Dr. Evil who did us all in.

Whatever you believe is true or false on these topics, I think that if you watch the film you may come away from it with two distinct thoughts: 1) It's a powerful piece of propaganda, and 2) It's a dangerous piece of propaganda.

The filmmakers surely know what they are doing, but in this day and age when anyone post a video about anything on YouTube there has to be some accountability. Sure they list sources on their main web page, but they are non-specific at best and simply ignored at worst. Maybe what they are trying to do is invite a discussion, but the topics are presented in such a black and white way that the only rebuttal they are going to get is from the lunatic fringe on the other side of the fence. It's inherent danger is the same danger that sites like Wikipedia offers. If you find it on the Internets, it must be true...right?

With all that being said, and I have tried not to include any of my own beliefs on the arguments presented, the filmmakers do include this final caveat at the end of the film and on their website:

"It is my hope that people will not take what is said in the film as the truth, but find out for themselves, for truth is not told, it is realized."

And maybe, just maybe that's really the point of the whole thing. Maybe.

PS - I will say this...I found Part I to be fascinating! But I'm a freak for ancient religions and mythology. Love those Ancient Egyptians.


Bruce Johnson said...

"Whatever you believe is true or false on these topics, I think that if you watch the film you may come away from it with two distinct thoughts: 1) It's a powerful piece of propaganda, and 2) It's a dangerous piece of propaganda." thoughts exactly.

I don't recommend this film to a lot of folks, because some people don't like their beliefs tampered with. This film can be very disturbing to some (especially if you tithe $300 a week to your church).

I liked the film because it gives a counter view point to the mass media that is spoon fed to us about religion and government. The media constantly comment on it, but never really question it.

While some of this film is over the top (especially Part-2), there are other segments that will make almost anyone stop and say "Hey, wait a minute, how come no one has mentioned this to me before?".

It is a better way to waste 2 hours than watching the season finale of Survivor or the Bachelor.

Tequila Mockingbird said...

smashing pumpkins last CD was titled zeitgeist, and i heart that plenty.

Bruce Johnson said...

Zeitgeist = "The current view of the past", the concept of shifting reality.

Ginormous Boobs said...

Adding to my Netflix

elizabeth said...

OOOH. Gonna watch! Then I'm going to torment people I know by mailing them copies of it to mess with their little brainwashed heads! Thanks!

i am the diva said...

my favourite part was the first bit about religion too. I love all that religion stuff, and looking at things in a different way. B-rad loved the whole 9-11 conspiracy stuff.

over the weekend things got a little tense when my uncle was in town - over 9-11, fun times.

we have the DVD and pass it on to people we think might be interested, but we always say: "it's just something interesting, another view of some things, take it with a grain of salt"

powerful and scary propaganda.

Verdant Earl said...

Lotus - I kinda like Survivor ;)

Tequila - Are Smashing Pumpkins still around?

G-Boobs - not on NetFlix, but click on the link I provided and you can watch it online for free.

Liz - That's why I wrote about it. ;)

Diva - own the DVD, eh? That's hard-core!

Ookami Snow said...

I think for the most part, if God does exist, and he influences people, everybody's religions kinda of have to look at least somewhat similar.

Verdant Earl said...

Oookami - Off topic, but did you ever read a book called American Gods by Neil Gaiman? It's filled with incarnations of old gods from defunct religions that were brought over to America at one point or another. Very cool stuff.