It was on January 16, 2010 when my son and I went to go see the Book of Eli. If I remember right, it was cool night, not too cold through. To say that the movie is a “survival movie” might be a little misleading. Through the course of events the hero of the movie, Denzel Washington runs into several situations that might be considered “survival” in nature – such as personal hygiene post SHTF, finding food and water and dealing with thugs.
Lets just fast forward to the end – the Book of Eli probably has one of the best endings that a movie could ever have. Denzel Washington recites the Bible to Malcolm McDowell, who in turn takes notes and has the Bible published.
Power struggle – Whats interesting in the movie, is the power struggle. Water is rationed as a hold over the peoples head, when in fact there are underground streams with enough water for everyone to have plenty. The antagonist of the Book of Eli (Gary Oldman) restricts the flow of water to maintain a control over the people. Since the people do not know how to access the streams except by a water pump, they become submissive.
Lack of water – Its this illusion that is perpetrated on the people that is interesting. The people “believe” that there is a lack of water, so they ration it and stand in line for their daily allotment. Its also suggested that the economy of the town is based off of water – or the lack there of. This “lack of water” – and the created economy around the lack of – brings up some interesting questions. Post SHTF, what could there be a lack of that would be worth trading for? The first things that come to mind are food and water.
Education – Another issue that the Book of Eli brings up is education of the people. The events of the movie take place thirty years after an apocalyptic event. Meaning that the young people of the time never knew of any other world except the one they live in. The vast majority of them can not read or write. Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation happens, do you have a library of history or literature books to pull from? Will the next generation know who William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe and Ernest Hemingway are?
Then there is the trading of services. Denzel Washington has a battery that he uses to power his Ipod. Well, a few minutes into the movie and the battery goes dead. Upon arriving in the next town, Denzel Washington seeks out the local trading post and trades some items to have his battery charged. The owner of the store has a solar trickle charger that he uses to charge the battery.
So lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens, what goods or services do you have to trade? Renewable services are better to trade then goods, as you will never run out of renewable services or goods. Which one would be better to trade, a zippo lighter, or using a solar charger to charge a battery? The solar power is free and its renewable. But you only have 1 zippo lighter to trade. Having a couple of solar chargers on hand might not be a bad idea. At the very least their charging services could be traded for.
Release date: January 15, 2010
Overall, I have to rate Book of Eli with a B+ or an A-. I think it touches on the dark side of humanity, the power struggles between the strong and the weak, but it also shows that there are good people out there.
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