Warning: Spoilers ahead!
One prevalent question the film’s protagonist, Chris Washington, gets asked is, “What is your purpose in life?” The question asked to all of us starts at the opening scene, which shows a Black guy getting kidnapped by a white car at night. The song played from the car sings, “bang, bang, bang, bang, goes the farmer’s gun. Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run, run.” This car and the tune appear again in the climax once Chris tries to escape from the house; and who has the gun? His White girlfriend, Rose! Was it God who saved him from having his brain removed and replaced with a White man’s brain?
No, there is a subtle queue that says God did not come to the rescue.
Racism is hinted at as something that Chris fears very much; although Rose tells Chris her parents are not racist, it turns out to be merely a half-truth, as they along with their extended family do hold Black fascination, but only for their bodies that matches their desire to be young and athletic again. It’s a complex, manipulative form of racism that only comes from people who claim not to be racist yet make offensive comments like this that are unknowingly self-centered.
Their idea of, “Black is in fashion,” is their attempts to gain authority of their own ideal America, a worldly goal that seeks a subjective ideal future rather than aligning themselves to God’s eventual kingdom. (Revelation 20) It’s rather complex how this strongly reflects the way many White people think when they call themselves allowing Black rights when it’s really their own rights they exercise. Their worldly attempt at ownership of another race blares its horn in the BINGO auction scene, a game of chance that resembles old slave auctions, similar also to when the Roman soldiers casted lots on Jesus’s clothes. (Matthew 27:35)
This entire feature right from the start keeps up an aura of a confused American image; case in point: as Chris and Rose drive to her parents’ home far inside the forest, a deer jumps in front of the car as if in a suicide attempt. Scripture describes deer to illustrate elegance, (Psalm 42:1, Proverbs 5:18, 2 Samuel 22:34) which means that this early sign of danger could be symbolic of how this area wants to kill off Chris’s purity. He doesn’t restore purity again until he’s in the game room impending his brain dissection, where a deer head rests on the wall. Chris uses it to kill Rose’s father, as if killing the ideal White future restores purity of Americans.
So where is America right now according to Jordan Peele? The “Sunken Place,” the pit of despair Chris sinks into when mom revives the guilt of his dead mother. The view up from the Sunken Place looks like a movie screen, which puts all of us watching in Chris’s place, meaning we threw ourselves into this Sunken Place with the manipulation of the other ethnicity we’re all guilty of. Yet Chris finds a heavily ironic way to rescue himself from a modern form of slavery—he uses white cotton to plug his ears from the hypnosis, like he’s using what Black people of the South had to survive whip lashes and brutal heat to harvest against their will. Only this time, he utilizes America’s dark history for personal freedom. It turns the ugliness of America’s past around toward a much brighter future when nobody is a victim to anybody… even if they’ll still feel really pissed off at the other.
So ultimately, this is a yes/no kind of deal when looking at how Jordan Peele’s exploitative illustration aligns to the Gospel. Considering it depicts such a deep narrative about how Black people feel manipulated by White people, it also falsely villainizes White people to Black people without a hint of redemption present for the former. Although yes, White people historically treated Black people worse than animals, which is very much sinful, know also the way Galatians 5:14 simplifies the entire Bible: “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Heck, even Martin Luther King Jr. himself said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Rather, Christians of all ethnicities and backgrounds, not just Black or White, should carefully empathize their treatment towards God’s lost sheep, for all lives matter. (Galatians 3:28)
Thank you so much for your time in reading! Please feel free to e-mail me at Trevor@TrevorsViewOnHollywood.com or message me through social media if you have any further questions. I’m also doing these types of posts monthly, so if there’s another movie you want me to talk in-depth about from a Christian perspective, please let me know!
Have a great week, and happy watching, God bless!