The First Purge
Have we already begun our version of the Purge by separating children from their parents in the name of domestic security?
The First Purge, a prequel to the prior three films, captures the present political climate in our country better than any other movie released in the past several years. While I must confess that I really liked the first three films, this movie tells a story of an American President who legally creates a 12-hour window in Staten Island, New York, where crime doesn’t exist.
In other words, from midnight to noon on a specific day, murder, arson and any other mayhem is considered legal. The policy was designed to reduce America’s crime rate by eliminating ethnic and lower economic classes who are most identified with violating the law.
While this program was allegedly an experiment to test the results, it was obviously aimed at African Americans, immigrants and ethnic minorities populating Staten Island. It created a cover where government officials, almost all of them who were white, were able to wear a mask where they could pretend to be local residents. Furthermore, the government interviewed and paid many Staten Island residents who were trying to escape feelings of hatred and anxiety by becoming participants in the purge.
The first three Purge films involved a law that now covered the entire country. The first film, which starred Ethan Hawke, described in detail how innocent families could become prey to hordes of bitter, sadistic avenging angels.
This film contains some great acting centered on largely unknown performers. While Marisa Tomei is confined to a small role as the Purge’s architect filled with regret, Y’lan Noel and Lex Scott Davis stand out as a drug dealer rediscovering meaning and a spokeswoman facing certain death for her public opposition to the hateful governmental program. Swirling in a miasma of violence and profanity, it tells a story of exploiting ethnic hatred that is being used by our President to this very day.
In watching this film, it is impossible not to compare it to President Trump’s attempts to paint both Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as a threat to our society. Along with attempting to ban Muslims from entering this country, he has no problem with separating children from their parents at our southern border. In doing so, he is consciously promoting a sinister hatred of these people as being nothing more than a threat to our national security.
The First Purge film, directed by Gerard McMurray, takes Trump’s position one step farther. In attempting to make America great again, the President, who leads a political party known as the New Founding Fathers of America, wants to do so by authorizing the killing of those thought to be a threat to our national way of life.
For any of you shaking your head at the comparison, I urge you to think of the millions of Germans who supported Hitler’s call to make “Germany Great Again” where they tolerated an anti-Semitic program that evolved into extermination camps. If we stand by and do nothing, what nightmare waits for us down the road?