Science fiction has always been a useful tool for allegory. It serves to entertain audiences with an engaging story while providing an important message to those who care to notice it. A personal favorite example is the recent District 9, wherein director Neill Blomkamp attacked the idea of Apartheid with the story of aliens who land in Johannesburg, South Africa, and are then are kept in camps away from humans. A more classic example is The Day the Earth Stood Still, released during the height of the Cold War. It tells the story of an alien named Klaatu who comes to warn the people of Earth to stop fighting amongst themselves… or else the planet will be destroyed to prevent them from bringing their violence into the rest of the galaxy.
Another great example is the 1973 French/Czech animated film Fantastic Planet (original title: La Planete Savauge), which is an allegory of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The film takes place on the planet Ygam, where humans are kept as pets by the humanoid race of Traags. The main character is a human named Terr, who escapes captivity, finds a way to educate himself, and returns to incite his fellow humans to revolt. It is an incredibly surreal film, animated by moving paper cutouts around backgrounds to create a bizarre, other-worldly setting.
Fantastic Planet will be screening tomorrow, Saturday, at Headliners Music Hall. The film starts at 9:00 and will be followed by musical performances by local bands Old Baby and Julie of the Wolves. Admission for the film screening and two bands is a measly $5.
Headliners Music Hall is located at 1386 Lexington Road. Further information can be found at the Facebook event page or at the Headliners website. Tickets can be purchased at Headliners, Astro Black, Please & Thank You, or Better Days Records.
Image: Facebook event page