Mad Max: Fury Road
“As the world fell each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy, me or everyone else” (Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 dystopian film set in a world of depleted of basic human resources. Scarce of water and nature, the location of the film is set in a desert wasteland where civilization has collapsed following a nuclear-powered holocaust. The post-apocalyptic film gives us a glimpse into a plausible future of our world as it reflects social, environmental, economical and political issues that are indeed present today. There are certain themes within the movie that enable us to visualize this dystopian scenario and relate particular issues to real life scenarios.
A world without Green…
The colour palate within the movie is blunt with dusty yellows, balanced with powerful blues of the sky. The colour green, however, is scarce and holds ones eye when present in a scene. The world is completed devoid of any form of greenery, which touches on environmental issues in contemporary society. Nowadays, large cities contribute to the degradation nature, however this film goes beyond that, exhibiting civilization, which has been completely destroyed and void of nature. This is a result of the post-atomic holocaust, which abolished the trees and contaminated the soil from radiation, allowing nothing to grow or replenish.
During the movie the women journey to the special ‘Green Place’. This is a symbol for their optimism. As the woman journey across the desert, their desperation of green is what motivates them. As they come to apprehend that all the green has disappeared, they come to the realization that only they can do something about replenishing it.
A world deprived of water…
“Do not, my friends, become addicted to water. It will take hold of you, and you will resent its absence.” (Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015) Most of the movie is set against a landscape completely empty of water. Any glimpse of it immediately draws your attention, suggesting the potential for drought within out future.
In fact, NASA researchers have analysed water inequity issues within the film, creating parallels with real life scenarios, even in first-world countries. “NASA’s chief water expert Jay Famigletti went on a movie date with A Martinez, and said that there’s so much “Mad Max” gets right about what California’s future could look like if the drought worsens.” (NASA’s water expert: ‘Mad Max’ is a glimpse of our drought future, 2015)
A world devoid of Agriculture…
Angharad compares bullets and seeds by calling bullets “anti-seeds”. She cautions, “Plant one, and watch something die”. (Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015) The concept that “Bullet Farms” subsist within this dystopia-driven wasteland, not agricultural ones, suggests that all pastoral life has been abolished. “The Many Mothers exist to be able to pass on seeds to the Wives. They are reminiscent of the rebellious seed savers, guerrilla planters and farming activists.” (Gupta, 2015) Politically, socially and economically this can be related to present-day issues or agriculture and crops for farming.
These are all leitmotifs that are uncannily familiar to us. Mad Max presents the anxieties and fears that are present in today’s society, raising issues such as global warming, drought and exploitation of natural resources in developing countries. Amid the numerous defeats in development, nothing threatens superior than the exploitation of resources. Countries with the greatest natural resource grants, have the worst development outcomes because they are subject to exploitation and corruption. Rather than contributing to sovereignty, collective development, and societal harmony, sediments of oil and minerals have often brought oppression, and self-doubt to these nations. (Patrick, 2013). “There are twenty-three countries in the world that derive at least 60 percent of their exports from oil and gas and not a single one is a real democracy,” observes Larry Diamond of Stanford University (Patrick, 2013).
Thus, Mad Max teaches a moral lesson by suggesting the importance of replacing exploitation with the cultivation of wholesome resources by virtuous people and maintaining social, economical, environmental, political and social integrity.
Gupta, K., 2015. Main Themes of Mad Max. [Blog] Quora. Available at: <https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-main-themes-of-Fury-Road-What-meaning-is-there-in-the-movie> [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].
Mad Max: Fury Road. 2015. [film] Australia: George Miller.
NASA’s water expert: ‘Mad Max’ is a glimpse of our drought future, 2015. [Radio Broadcast] Take Two 89.3: KPCC.
Patrick, S., 2013. Why Natural Resources Are a Curse on Developing Countries and How to Fix It. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: <http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/why-natural-resources-are-a-curse-on-developing-countries-and-how-to-fix-it/256508/> [Accessed 27 Oct. 2016].