Why I would recommend The Giver (spoiler alert)

Warning! If you want to see the movie ‘The Giver’, please don’t read this blog just yet. It is filled with spoilers. If you read this blog before watching the movie you might spoil the whole experience for yourself, especially if you are one of those people who hate to know the end score of a match before you’ve seen it, because: what’s the point in watching the match, what’s the thrill if you know what’s coming already?!

It’s the holiday season and I have given myself the complete care package by signing off of work for the next 4 weeks. You read that correctly, 4 weeks. Which will give me plenty of time to do everything I am not able to cramp into my normal weeks. That is, until I decided that anything goes, it’s a holiday.

Anything goes.

So with that I bingewatched the series ‘Quicksand’ yesterday. And today I’ve watched the movie ‘The Giver’.

I watch my movies as I drink my wine

I’m not a critic. That means that I watch series and movies like I drink wine: if the label looks good, I’ll drink it. Or watch it. It might turn out bad, but even if it’s just a nice drink (something in the category ‘it’s fine, it’s wine’), I’ll drink it. Never waste a bottle you’ve bought, is my overall principle. That does not mean I rate every wine or movie the same, some stick more than others and not always for the same reason.

When I started watching ‘The Giver’, it reminded me a lot of the earlier ‘coming of age in dystopian worlds’ movies, like Divergent or the Hunger Games. The cast however is nicely filled with moviestars that wouldn’t want to miss out on the dystopian future films, or so it seems. However, I did enjoy watching The Giver, the same as I did Divergent and the Hunger Games, but would recommend the Giver more so than the other two for something other than the overall storyline.

The gloriousness of it all

The Giver is all about seeing the full potential of a human being and how glorious us humans are. In all its colors, emotions, mistakes and successes.

Sure, you could say (and I hear you): it’s a bit of a white movie. Oh hell, it’s completely white. That’s not a world of color. It’s true. Sure, you could say (and many will) that humans are not glorious, because they have the capacity to and will do horrendous atrocities. Killing, drugging, raping, cheating, just to name a few. But that is not what I want to discuss, because we humans are so much more than that. And research has shown that most people are good (which can be read in this great Dutch work). But also that is not something I would like to discuss.

We are so so much more

I would like to thank the movie to show us the vast range of emotions we humans are capable of feeling. Even if we don’t want to feel half (or even more) of these emotions, these emotions make us human and the lows give us the highs. If we are flat, feel no strong emotions, we are not really human, we see in grey-scale if we don’t feel this broad range, as is shown by the movie. We don’t experience the world in black and white, which is something to celebrate. But we often don’t.

I don’t have to tell you that we live in a world where we embrace the positive and beautiful, and shy away from the negative and ugly. Look at Facebook: negative, sad, jealousy, angry messages are often shunned. We follow positive people, we like to encourage positivity, we like to embrace everything that has to do with courage, strength, blooming, growth. That is also true for me. I like to see strong and courageous women, for example. They are a role model and I feel like cheering them on. Even or especially if they are showing their vulnerability, for everyone to see. Or at least, the stories of vulnerability.

However, we see of course a lot of negativity when we go onto Facebook (or any other platform), but mainly in reaction of other things, mainly news. Because we can criticize and I have an opinion too, isn’t that something others need to hear too? The reactions are often strong and people know what they think, questions are part of that conversation. To criticize, isn’t that also about asking questions and waiting for a responds? Or I am being too negative here, that I don’t see that anywhere?

Why are you so angry?

And surely there is a lot of anger, in this world of unbridled positivity. Why is that? I would like to start off with two things: 1. this is my point of view, you can have yours! 2. there is nothing wrong with anger. It’s just that the anger seems to have taken over people, without them knowing what it is really about. Why are they so angry? What is this anger saying? And who is this anger directed at (and does your anger get there by sharing it online)?

I feel that we (humans) are not seen, the common people, you and me, by others but perhaps mainly by ourselves. And that is why we have such extreme reactions to the outside. Also that we have to choose a side, you have to KNOW to which side you belong, because else you are left out. And that is something that is coming back into those coming of age movies too: in a ‘perfect’, controlled society we know where we belong, you choose a side and you stay there for the rest of your life. And that is something we are moving towards, I feel: you have to pick a side, stick to it, because where do you belong otherwise? And you don’t want to come across as unreliable, now do you?

Save us from humanity

Something that those movies have in common: the ones who don’t know, who see all sides, or have all sides inside them, the ones who see all colors (as in The Giver), are the chosen ones, the rebels, the ones who save humanity from ‘evil’ elders who wanted to control evil and therefore also killed joy, love and sadness, loss. We turned into un-humans, which I guess we’re moving towards in real life as well.

Just yesterday I realized, for example, I was being very emotional, I cried heavily over the series Quicksand. I actually thought: what the hell is wrong with me now that I am so unstable. First of all: how, what, unstable? Isn’t crying just human? We always shy away from these strong emotions, especially when we are with others. We can’t been seen crying, we can’t be seen angry, we can’t be seen doubting, oh my god, not doubting, not having insights on which you evolve your theories or ideas or (oh no, for the love of god!) change sides.

This blog is getting out of hand, perhaps a little, and also addresses two topics: the extreme sides and the shunning of human, but ‘negative’ emotions. Which are so interconnected I have no idea how to untangle them now. However, I did want to have a chat with you about it, because of the movie and the celebration of human emotions. The full range of human emotions, the potential we have if we can feel all those emotions.

The sheer beauty of it

It’s so beautiful to see all these emotions in the movie and how they are celebrated, these life events with all those cries, laughter, fun, joy, sadness. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just really feel them, you know? Because I think if we really took time (who has got time these days?!) to sit with these emotions and not instantly react, but to take a moment to reflect on ourselves. And also to ask from others to really take their time and to listen, truly listen, and so that you can take the time to truly listen, we could make the wall between our camps crumble and see each other in all our value and worth.

And it’s also a call for ourselves, myself: it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to be slow, it’s okay to want to hide, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to laugh when all falls quiet, it’s okay to be quiet when all is noise, it’s okay to change your mind, it’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be me. Whatever emotions sweep through my mind.

It’s okay.

Maybe that is all I wanted to say: it’s okay.

Photo of the kids by Aman Shrivastava on Unsplash

Photo of crying boy by Kat J on Unsplash

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

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Writer | Poet | Handletterer | Constant Changener | Fuckiteer

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