Moon (2009)

Tonight I got around to watching Duncan Jones’ Moon which was talked up heaps at last year’s IFF but that I never got around to seeing at a screening. I’ll have to admit, after watching it I wanted to watch Alien, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Solaris (the original version, not the Clooney version) all over again just to scramble together some kind of meaning.

Then I came across a message board that discussed themes of religion in the film. It didn’t go into much depth apart from referring to the names of the harvesters (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), and saying that Sam was Jesus. (Interestingly, I noticed that the harvester which played up all the time was Luke, who’s name had been crossed out in jest and replaced with the name Judas).

Anyway all this got me to thinking about religious themes in this film. After searching about on the web a bit, I was unable to find a credible single account of the religious component, but here’s what I did come up with.

1) I like the idea that the clones’ “life” experiences draw parallels with religious indoctrination. When each new clone is born, they are taught about the good things they can look forward to back on earth if they behave themselves, are good, and work hard. Remind you of any particular philosophies? Also, when the clones have completed their contract, they get into a (coffin-shaped?) box and turn into ash(es to ashes, dust to dust). They never get to go to earth, and all the stories they hear about earth are fictional. In this sense I guess the film sort of denounces religion as a fantasy designed to maintain order and control.

2) When the fit-and-healthy Sam goes back to earth, he is persecuted and forced to testify. (Jesus much?) Plus did you get a load of the beard at the beginning?

3) The contract is up after three years. Three years of desolate isolation behind on a rock. After that they “return” to earth. It’s Easter soon. I’ll leave you to figure that one out for yourself.

There are a few more subtle little things, about GERTY and self sacrifice/compassion etc. but these are less plausible links and I’d need to read a bit more before I’d be comfortable supporting them.

Keen to hear what people think on this one.

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