Day 13: El Topo

3Another movie day, but with significant meaning. El Topo translated into english is “The mole”. The mole is an animal that digs passages searching for the sun. Sometimes he reaches the surface. When he looks at the sun he goes blind. As this story goes, a man goes on a journey for yet again, self enlightenment, but ends up killing his gods. Not here to ruin it, but to explain vaguely, the gunfighter meets four mentors who he is instructed to kill by his lover. In attempt to satisfy his lovers love, he kills anyone in his path. As he attempts to kill these profound gunfighters, he learns something new every time. Sadly he doesn’t realize what he is doing is killing his mentors on his journey to enlightenment. It goes to show that the final moment of “enlightenment” might be something we want to avoid, for the journey was more enjoyable and knowledge filled. Ergo he becomes the best one as there are none left. When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed.

The movie transitions into his son’s life, meandering about a cultist town. As someone who is teetering with religion, funny parallels were drawn that I have seen in the church. In the movie the cultist members are playing russian roulette. The pastor gives the gun to the protagonist (son of original gunfighter) where he instructs him to play. The pastor sneaks in a word saying it’s a blank bullet. He plays the game, doesn’t die and everyone screams what he did was a miracle. Immediately after everyone is trying it out, a little boy puts a gun to his mouth and blows his own brains out. I had to stop the movie for a second after that. But I think this is a play on the idea of fate, in the christian faith miracles are romanticized however non believers see it as an act of chance or controlled fate. No matter what even if it was a blank it would have been a miracle. Funny scene Jodorowsky.

Another favorite scene of mine is the dogmatism regarding the colonel. When he appears in front of his subjects he only shows himself as powerful, but when alone his sex slave has to help him get out of bed. The idea behind this is that nobody questions the colonel when he is around, but behind closed doors he is just as fragile, if not more fragile than his followers who are not allowed to see him in such state.

All in all, fantastic movie by Jodorowsky again. Recommend to all.

Too much perfection is a mistake.” – El Topo


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