Let’s face it, the arts have a tremendous impact on its audience for certain topics, espeically in film. It can be either for the best or the worst; for example, after Mean Girls came out almost every viewer, espeically those who haven’t entered their high school years, had the impression and thought that high school would be the same utter terrible and dramatic experience. However, as dramatic as it was, the directors of the movie were able to reach certain emotions out to the viewers, whether it was happiness or sadness. On a more serious note other than preteen drama, directors can use this art form to also send messages about pressing issues we have in modern day. Recently, I watched the film Mother! ,directed by Darren Aronofsky,, a film whose objective is to articulate the issue of Climate Change in a way that is meant to make the audience feel uncomfortable, portraying how pressing the issue is. Jennifer Lawrence plays the main lead as a ‘Mother Nature’ figure to illustrate the affects of Climate Change on our planet from the point of view of Mother Nature; treating the planet as the living thing that it is.
The overall structure of the film is within a frame of the Bible, portraying the ideology that God put us here and that Mother Nature, the planet, has all the resources to sustain us. In the movie, Mother Nature is accompanied by her husband who I believe portrays the figure of God. Throughout the film, He invites several strangers to the home that Mother Nature has tirelessly built and these strangers disrespect the home by inviting their friends and family over without asking the homeowners, and breaking furniture and walls, and eventually completely destroying their house. Mother Nature throughout the movie is constantly cleaning up after everyones mess and trying to repaint walls and rebuild furniture that had been destroyed by these visitors. When watching this, I immediately felt the connection the director was making; the house of the couple portrays the environment and the uninvited strangers resemble modern humans and their disrespectful attitude towards Mother Nature and her home directly tie into how modern humans disrespect the planet and it’s resources it provides for us. Mother Nature in the film was providing a place for comfort and visitation for her “guests” but they were overcompensating and taking advantage of the resources she was giving them.
Throughout the film, the husband who resembles a God figure, is very open, giving, and constantly justifying the guests actions by saying “they need us” and “we must forgive them”. This portrays the deep interconnection between environmental studies and religion by showing how ones values in a certain faith is extended to how we look at sciences at a whole. The idea brought up in certain religions that Mother Nature is here to provide, and that we dominate her, holds such a strong attitude carried on for decades into modern day towards environmental affects. It is very difficult to force a new way of thinking when such strong values in peoples religion create a roadblock.
Aronosky did a wonderful job with this film by seeking to shift the conversation to looking at Climate Change as something we are causing upon a living, breathing, thing and to show our Planet as a fragile woman who provides so much for all species.