Blind Faith: The Book of Eli

(WARNING: This article contains a spoiler)
So, recently I watched the movie The Book of Eli starring my favorite...Denzel Washington and my other favorite Jennifer Beals...and my other, other favorite Mila Kunis. I have to say...this movie is SERIOUSLY underrated. If people haven't noticed...movies about the ENLIGHTENED HERO in the APOCALYPSE seem to be the Hollywood fad these days (hint, hint). Leave it to Denzel...the humanitarian... to take on a role that focuses on religious faith as a means to enlightenment. Let's see if we can break this movie down...

Now the movie takes place 30 years deep into the post-apocalypse, and we are soon introduced to the protagonist, ELI (those who are up on their biblical names know of the story ELIJAH and the blind man). Eli is lead by faith to carry the last copy of the Bible through the wasteland to an unknown destination in the west. Along the way, he kills anyone of the many who try to stop him. He walks into a town, controlled by a man named Carnegie, because of his need for water.

Carnegie has hired thugs to look for the Bible because he is aware of its power and wants to hire Eli. Eli refuses and is held captive. The young daughter of Carnegie's blind concubine, Solara, is sent to seduce Eli, but to no avail. Instead, Eli opens her eyes to the power of prayer and Carnegie becomes aware that Eli has a copy of the Bible in his possession.

Eli leaves and kills ALMOST all of Carnegie's men in a shoot out. Solara follows Eli on his venture to deliver the Bible to the West and Carnegie chases after them. After a shootout at an elderly couple's home in the middle of nowhere, Solara and the book are captured and Eli is wounded. Solara escapes and goes back for Eli and the two continue to Alcatraz Island, without the Bible, where things from the old civilization prior to the Apocalypse are preserved. There, the climax reveals that Eli is, in fact, blind but also enlightened by his memorization of the Bible. The copy of the Bible that Carnegie fought so hard to get his hands on is entirely in braille. The conclusion of the film surrounds the transcribing of the Bible and Solara's return back to the East.
 Now, the metaphor of the movie is crazy and so is the power of blind faith. What might not be so obvious about the movie is the subtle occult symbols. From the onset of the movie, when we are first introduced to the protagonist, we see the numbers  14:6...which in numerology reduces to the number 11 (a symbol for enlightened thinking). The fallac motif of swords in the movie represent the concept of a male dominated society and although we find out that the apocalypse brought along a catastrophic flash, the use of sunglasses draws the audience to consider the significance of sight. 

What also might not be obvious is that the post-apocalypse is essentially a depression, where bartering has replaced capitalism and materialism is a remnant of the past. The movie introduces a New World Order debate of the Bible and the power of organized religion. The protagonist and the antagonist are metaphors for the arguments of the use verses misuse of the Word and the lengths it can serve the individual. I thought it was interesting that Carnegie found the Bible in the television but did not know how to decipher it, as I believe Hollywood is giving us big subliminal messages if you have the tools to decipher the meanings. Carnegie, himself, reminds me of a psychic vampire, a theme I see reoccurring in popular culture a lot these days. Psychic vampires are people who feed off of the energy of others for their own political gain....hmmm. Anyway, as far as male domination is concerned, we discover that the only way for a female to be her own protector is to acquire the metaphoric be curious and seek the knowledge in the manner of the enlightened man...much like Solara does at the end of the film. The end of the movie drives home a powerful message: Control can always be taken over but Knowledge can never be taken away...

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