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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST - Reading Through Baudrillard

A Fine Movie

Production Credits

Company Information

  • IFC Films - Domestic Theatrical Distributor
  • IFC Films - Domestic Distribution Rights
  • K5 Media Group - Worldwide Distribution Sales

For a review and comments more traditional please go to the New York Times Link then come back for a post modern reading of it through Baudrillard.

Jean Baudrillard's thinking clarifies this movie. He writes of The Order of Production and the Symbolic Order of the Sacred. We see Changez alternating between the two orders.

To simplify this thinking there is a scene when Erica invites Changez to the opening of her art show. The art is similar to the art below: 

Erica's words in light are about Changez, their relationship, her love for him. Art is in the Order of Seduction, the Sacred. But modern contemporary art has become something different. It has become a production standing firm in the Order of Production. So Erica has "produced" art about something sacred to Changez, his love for her. He is furious that she has commercialized their love. She cannot even understand what she has done in terms of his world. He rages at her, she weeps bitterly that he doesn't understand the "gift" she has made of turning their love into art. He cannot believe she would do such a thing as to cheapen it. 

Two worlds, two different ways of perceiving. The difference between the "US as a business" (Killing Them Softly quote) and the Eastern world of the sacred separate from the secular. Changez has accepted the American dream because colonized countries have been permeated with the American Dream and have no dream of their own. This is what he is beginning to understand. 

And this understanding converts him from a genius financier to a revolutionary Islamist, a non-violent one as he returns to Pakistan to teach at the University and influence younger students in a different world from the American secular success story. One not ready made, but one that must be created, imagined and forged in Pakistan. One that is not completely secular. One that holds sacred values important. 

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