I had the chance to watch The Wicker Man the other day, not the Nicolas Cage remake but the original from the early 1970’s. I have seen it a few times through the years and still find it really disturbing.
One the surface the film plays out like one of those good British mysteries on ITV or the BBC. Cop investigates the disappearance of a child on a remote island off the coast of Scotland- could be something by Ian Rankin.
However, things soon take a turn…
The cop, you see, is a devout Christian and the island is populated by nature worshiping pagans. The film takes its time and slowly builds to a truly horrifying climax.
For those of you unfortunate never to have seen it I won’t spoil it for you.
I hadn’t seen the film since September 11th and was struck by relevance of the clash between two inflexible and conflicting religious ideologies. And it is ironic that today, if anything, inflexible religious belief impacts us even more.
The Wicker Man is a small film full of big ideas that still resonate today over 30 years after it was made. It is widely available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment and is well worth a visit.
Appropriate to The Wicker Man and the madness of belief I direct you to an article my friend Rob Sawyer wrote in the Ottawa Citizen last year. Rob does a great job in defining the state of disbelief today. It makes great reading either before or after seeing The Wicker Man.