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Dreams Against Dystopia, A Movie Review by Dr. Steven Katz

“The Wanting Mare,” directed by Nicolas Batement, is a haunting sci-fi, romance, and neo-Gothic film. It features outstanding actors, including Jordan Monahan. The movie is about a future dystopia presented mainly in symbolic terms, and it communicates on many levels. Filming took place in a an old disintergrating New Jersey warehouse. The core motivating theme is a dream passed on for generations from mother to daughter about the time before the evident devastation when life was better. On first viewing, and I intend to watch it at least one more time, the film’s writer intended to show the importance of dreams even if they are not capable of realization for generations. The dream is symbolically represented in the film by a wild horse, the “Wanting Mare.” Ultimately, it is the freedom and health of the life force. Dreams can make life bearable even under some of the most adverse social and economic conditions. The film is much more timely and relevant than most viewers will recognize.

A Note on the Reviewer’s Philosophy of Film: As a philosopher, I apply both a psychoanalytic and social analytic interpretation to the films that I review. To my mind, films are the collective dreams of the society and culture in which they are rooted, as expressed by the writer and director. This is of course filtered through the interpretations of the actors, and set designers, as mediated by the technology used to make film. Like the psychoanalytic interpretation of the dreams of an individual, it is posssible to crystalize out from a film a symbolic message of where a society has been ontologically, currently is, and where it might be going. For a good review of current philosophies of film, see New Philosophies of Fim – Thinking Images by Robert Sinnerbrink (N.Y., Continuum, 2011).

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