A Marxist message wrapped in a movie genre White Christian Men are likely to watch – this film is kind of like hiding your dog’s medicine in a tasty treat. Get past the veneer of a Western and you see a film with a strong anti-property rights and anti-White bias that is prominent, especially given the timing of the movie.
Ostensibly, the movie is a morality play built into a Western about getting to know foreign rivals in order to become friends, this: “If you just get to know the scary foreigner you will see he is just like you.” But, when you consider the timing of this movie, it has a far more insidious message built into its core. It takes direct aim at one of the most enduring and critical foundations of Western society: property rights. In order to see this message, consider the timing before the climax.
Hostiles came out in September 2017/January 2018 (two separate releases). Production began in February 2016 – shortly after the Hammonds’ double jeopardy trial and the subsequent rancher protest which led to the murder of LaVoy Finicum in January 2016. Since production began in 2016, we can reasonably assume that the movie production company, Entertainment Studios, began lining up the film a year earlier, shortly after the Bundy Ranch protests in which ranchers stood down the Bureau of Land Management and the Federal Government.
If you are from the political Right, you saw the Bundy and Hammond incidents as examples of an ever expanding federal authority, trampling on private property rights on behalf of a Marxist president who thoroughly despised White Christian property owners who “cling to their God and guns” and are “too independent.” You watched LaVoy Finicum murdered in cold blood as he drove to a pre-determined meeting with a sheriff to end the stand off. Everything about the Bundy and Hammond incidents were examples of an ever expanding federal government cannibalizing the independent heart of America.
If you are from the political Left, you saw the Bundy and Hammond incidents as examples of crazed White Christian Capitalists who refused to yield to rightful federal authority. They were violent and lawless belligerents. LaVoy Finicum would be alive today if he just complied with Imperial police.
Now, let’s go back to the movie.
The protagonist (Christian Bale) is charged with taking an old Indian warrior (Wes Studi) back to his homeland in the Montana territory. Through various experiences the former enemies become friends. Eventually, Studi dies as they arrive into Montana and Bale proceeds to bury Studi on land that once belonged to his people. The burial is interrupted by four ranchers, one of whom owns the land and the others are his sons. When Bale shows the ranchers that he has a proclamation from President Benjamin Harrison himself, the ranchers grow belligerent and say (to paraphrase), “We don’t care what the Federal Government wants or what your President says, we do not want an Indian buried on our land.” The result is a shootout in which the federal authorities kill the evil ranchers.
In the movie, of course, the ranchers are depicted as bad guys and to the untrained political eye, you would likely sympathize with Bale and, the now dead, Studi, who simply wanted to be buried on land that was once his. But to the politically awake, the Marxist messaging in the movie is powerful. It literally says (A) the federal government has the right to seize parcels of your land for the “greater good” and (B) should you resist such property seizure, you can be killed by the federal authority. In other words, when the federal authority wants your land, you should bend the knee because the federal authority is the good guy and you – greedy White land owner with no right to property on a country you stole from the Indians – are the bad guys.
Of course, if that weren’t enough, the movie ends with a not-so-subtle jab at agrarian fly-over country. When the protagonist hops a train headed to escape the insanity of independent Montana for civilization, Bale gets on a train for Chicago. The federal authority leaves the backwards land of belligerent ranchers for the safety and security of urban inclusion. It is also not a coincidence that Chicago is both President Barack Obama and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hometown. How unironic is that?
Anyway, enjoy your latest dose of Hollywood Marxist messaging, evil White Christian property owner.