Tuesday, May 11, 2010

"SWAN !!!"

Having just spent some time reading about the thread of the "rural idyll" in European Rural Development research and study, I found this movie HILARIOUS on many many levels ... It was German playwright Brecht who showed us that a good comedy farce will, through laughter show us the absurdity of our actions and the actions of others around us. His legacy of plays warning of the danger of the rise of Fascism continue to ring true in the modern as they did when we put pen to paper and created memorable characters like Mother Courage and Umberto Ui to parody the downward spiral of "civilized" Europe prior to World War Two.

They may not have set out with such noble Brecht-like aspirations, but from the same crew that brought us the black comedy "Shaun of the Dead" a movie about zombies taking over and spreading their infection - Hot Fuzz manages to parody the danger of small town life that is unchecked by outside balances.

Hot Fuzz is a movie about an over achieving super cop being dispatched from London to a small rural village that has a cast of characters that could have stepped out of an episode of The Vicar of Dibley ... but all is not well in the village.

A series of mysterious deaths brought about by black hooded grim reapers sends Sgt Angel on a search for order and justice ... Alas, all is not what it seems in the idyllic village of Sandford with the lowest crime rate in the country ... There is an ominous reason for this idyllic setting ...

This film is a MUST watch for ANYONE involved in any way in Rural Development - be it as a student, a teacher or just someone interested in the field ... AND I would dare to say that it is a must watch for anyone involved in Rural Ministry as well. Toxic and dysfunctional systems fold over upon themselves and perpetuate themselves in incestuous ways that block out the outsider and prevent any change that is deemed unhealthy for the "common good."

This movie, with tongue firmly in cheek, pokes fun at the idyll of rural life, and serves as a warning of what can happen is one fails to take seriously the impact of things I've identified in my so-called ravings about stratification, exclusion and so on ... After watching Hot Fuzz, let's sit down over a beverage and talk about the profound truth that this comedy points to ... small towns have this kind of thing happening all the time - fortunately, they seldom go to the extremes of Sandford ... but they do unfortunately do very bizarre things from time to time, and we sometimes need a Sgt Angel to come and restore balance!!

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