BURN! (1969) Movie Review

When guns and the suppressed collapse, you get chaos. But would it really count as chaos if it’s already a chaotic country? That’s how we should look at the movie Burn!, where the white “supremacy” gets trampled by their suppressed once they are given a little freedom. Fear, pain, chains, that’s what the white people of the 19th century brought upon the blacki, and all this for money. The movie Burn! shows how if people are in pain, they will do anything to hurt their torturers. The world was in chaos at the time, there was no peace between people from different parts of the world. Just because Europeans had more money and wealth, they thought it would be okay to handcuff people from the rest of the world and use them as the means to make even more money. In this case the whites took over the caribbean, killing people, chaining them in front of their families. The whites made it so that everyone not white hated them, and when the rest of the world was given a chance – they stood up for themselves. This movie discusses and shows a wonderful development of friendship between two different men, and how this friendship leads to the biggest turnout of that century. The only white man who gave a tortured slave a gun, showing him that he too can be free and powerful. That’s why this chaos in the movie was created, and when chaos is born within chaos, it’s revolution.

In the beginning of the movie we learn why the movie is called burn. The island itself is called Quiemada (also the original title of the movie), which in Italian means burn. We learn that the island has been burnt before several times in the means of cleaning out for colonization. Obviously there’s also a lot of burning in the movie itself, burning villages and burning sugar plantations but that’s all a part of colonial cleaning out attempt. This is important for the plot of the movie because it shows how much more pain the people of the island went through, how many reasons they had to rebel.

The main themes of this movie are racism and colonization. It’s hard to imagine what it feel like when some unknown people of different color come and take over your own country, and then make you do the dirty jobs. The caribbeans had nothing to protect themselves with, they weren’t ready. So when the time came and they were taken over, they had no other choice but to accept it, with or without pain. Two main characters, Sir William Walker and Jose Dolores create a bond years after colonization. Walker came from England looking for a strong black man who would not be scared to revolt and take action, so when he found Jose Dolores, he knew. Together they rob a bank, supposedly divide the money all between themselves, and then when trouble comes Walker brings what later destroys their bond. During hardship, Walked brought weapons to the suppressed people, the whole village took control and partied after they won and killed all their enemy Portuguese. Jose and Walker were supposed to leave together, but Jose decided he should stay to help his people get back on their feet and to protect them. Walker walked away (later we learn that he actually never left). This whole rebellion happened because the Portuguese brought it upon themselves. They treated the settlers like they were not humans. Racism is still a big issue in our current world, it’s not as bad as it was in the past, but the fact that it’s still there blocks our way to Peace. We try to hide in now, conceal the racism by saying that everyone is equal but the people who are treated worse do not agree. If you don’t “qualify” you will not be treated as well as the rest of the people. I have heard a lot of people complain about inequality, and honestly there is only one “equal” nation – white Americans. Even though I’m white myself, I’m not treated as well as Americans themselves. I can’t even imagine how much worse it keeps getting the further away one goes from the “qualifications”. The only way for our world to get even remotely close to peace, is for us to realize that there is no difference if you are American, Arabian, African or French. But with our current stage it’s really far away, people don’t want to admit that they have dark thoughts and they conceal it within themselves. That’s why there are so many shootings and black deaths, especially by hands of the police. All we need is peace within ourselves to be able to find the peace outside, we need better education, more globalization and equality. Whether this equality is of the races, the gender, or the sexes. We need to find a way to find peace with all of the differences we have, only then can we find the world peace.

Burn! also introduces the topic of gender inequality. When Walker discusses if it’s better to have a wife or a prostitute, we see how all men objectify females in that world. Walked says that keeping a wife is expensive, you have to care for her, treat her illnesses, give her money, give her a life she “deserves”. But for a prostitute, you just pay her by the hour. How horrible is this? Unfortunately our current world still has the same problem, not as bad – but pretty close. Women are objectified, they are not taken seriously and all the way women try to “rebel” they are made fun of. The current “joke” of our generation is Feminism. Feminists are viewed as brute man-hating people, they are laughed at and not taken seriously. All Feminists want is for men and women to be truly equal in every sense, but since the world will not listen to them this problem will not get fixed. Women’s voices are overpowered by the men’s laugh. This gets in the way of Peace most, because if a husband doesn’t learn to treat his wife with respect, the children will grow up to be as faulted as their parents. The cycle will not stop. Women try to rebel, but they are tied down to their stereotypes by the “powerful” men.

We face all these problems, the ones that existed before and the ones that just keep appearing now. Is there a way to fix this? Yes. In my opinion, the best way to find world peace is to find peace within, and the only way to find peace within is to let go of the hate and stereotypes. Books, education, love – these are all together the ways to find peace. If we find peace within, we will establish peace outside. Money will not be the moving energy for people, it will be kindness and love. Only by learning will people realize how much more important it is to find peace within rather than by having a lot of new iPhones and luxury cars. It will all come, but it should not be our priority.

The movie goes deep into the issues of our world, whether it’s from the 19th century or the 21st, the problems remain the same. This shows how we haven’t moved much in the past two centuries. This is all blocked by the need to be superior, the need to be wealthy and rich, the need to hurt others to make ourselves feel better, by the fact that we haven’t learned our lesson yet. We are still in chaos, and what chaos always brings is more chaos. But when chaos is born within chaos, it’s revolution and revolution brings freedom.

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