Witches in Movies

HOOAH
Die for your country? Of course! Basic burial rights? Maaaaaaaaaaaybe.

I’ve written about the religious discrimination that Pagans face in mass-media outlets of the United States before.
Pagans do not worship the devil, but peacefully praise varying aspects of nature and humanity in reverence of faiths that far outdate more modern, monotheistic, patriarchal religions that were conversely born of vast histories of violence. The USA military only very recently allowed fallen soldiers of a Pagan affiliation to bare a pentacle (a pentagram with a circle around it) on their tombstones. Pagans, in all their various faiths (Wicca, Asartu, and Druidism among others), make up roughly 2% of the United States’ population. Being true religions, with histories of extensive and brutal genocide done unto them by followers of the other more pervasive faiths, it is therefore somewhat baffling to me that they are relegated to the same niche in modern entertainment as werewolves and vampires (who, aside from some unfortunate cases of porphyric haemophilia or very widespread body hair) are most certainly not historically repressed groups.

There have been quite a few ‘evil witch’ movies in recent years, and I’d like to discuss them just a tad.

Wicked Fun
Beauty = Good, Ugly = Evil. Got it.

There’s a new Oz movie out now. Its REALLY “deep”. But thats already two fragmented sentences, so enough about the reboot or prequel or whatever it is, I want to talk about the original. Sort of.

In the book ‘Wicked’, the official sequel of Wizard of Oz, the ‘Wicked Witch of the West’ was born with a terrible deformity (including a horrible allergy to the most common substance on earth) for which she was shunned and abused merely by misfortune of looking different from the other characters. Meanwhile, Glenda the ‘Good’ Witch (Whitey McHonkyKlan) laughed in Elphaba’s face (Wicked Witch of the West’s non-slave name) after her sister was killed by a falling house. Hilarity ensued as residents of Oz gleefully celebrated the horrible death, singing, dancing, and declaring it a national holiday.
Glena asks the occupant of the house if she is a ‘good’ witch or a ‘bad’ witch.

Dorothy, in possession of the sensitivity of a three year old child, responds that she can’t be a witch because witches are ‘old and ugly.’ Glinda, in possession of the logic of an Alzheimer’s patient points out that ‘only evil witches are ugly’. (And remember only bad people are disabled)” –

Glenda then steals the shoes off Elphaba’s sister’s still-warm corpse, and quickly topped that act of in-your-face body-looting by way of hiring a gullible kid (simple-minded Dorothy) to assassinate Elphaba herself (however, not before prema-magicing the shoes that are Elphaba’s rightful inheritance on the poor child). Glenda further endangers Dorothy by telling her to leave Munchkinland (the only place where Elphaba has no power) to see a charlatan wizard instead of simply telling her how to heel-click her way home.
But the devious level of fucks-not-given of the characters isn’t the issue. Nor is it the author’s pointed allegories of racism in a story (that my twisted mind sees as) full of murder and revenge. The problem is the unquestioning, blind acceptance of the audience when taking Glenda’s chirpy side of the story…which is basically just ‘look, her skin is dark, laugh at her then kill her with allergy overdose!’
Thus, instead of the usual ‘burn the witch for her suggested evil’ trope, we have ‘melt the innocent deformed woman’ as the celebrated result.
And so evil dolled up as goodly triumphs once more.

But what about other films?

More witch evilness
A whole new article is required to delve into the fucknuttery of Disney’s many creations.

Well there’s the usual, like Hocus Pocus with three evil (but silly) witches go about sucking the souls from children. The Craft where three evil (but angsty) witches go about causing a general ruckus but this time one witch is ‘good’ and fights them (actually like this movie). There is the new Hansel and Gretle: Witch Hunters, where the main antagonists are three evil (but dumb) witches who’s plan is snacking on childrens, but this time TWO good witches try to stop them…(although it should be mentioned that unlike in The Craft, being a witch AND the alignment of said witch is not a choice but an accident of birth, meaning the countless hundreds of ‘bad’ witches slaughtered in-movie goes from disturbing to genocid-y very quickly if you think about it — DON’T THINK ABOUT IT!!). There’s also Season of the Witch, which intriguingly enough starts out sort of mournfully showing the execution of some accused witches by the hands of the Church in the Medieval Ages (when this actually happened to innocent people)…..but then demonstrates the Church was TOTALLY right to kill those bitches by the thousands because they ARE possessed by the devil!… and so is the rest of the movie! Whoo! Go Church! Our saviors! What would we ever do without you?

Just imagine literally any other historic group being dehumanized in this fashion for entertainment value. Imagine, if you will, Nazis being commercially portrayed as saviors of humanity because they ‘saved’ us from the Jews. Or the same for the Klan or slavers in regards to African-Americans. Sounds like hyperbole? Sounds extreme? Sounds like you haven’t heard of The Eternal Jew or Birth of a Nation or archives upon archives of others because the only thing that keeps this type of bullshit out of our movie theaters and by extension our (mainstream) cultures, is that enough people give a fuck to boycott it. Apparently those who identify with witchcraft got passed over for that moderate decency. Thats too bad, because people sure do enjoy an awful lot of their holidays.

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Comments
  1. likamarie says:

    I like the light history, here, that the actual practice of witches and how they are depicted are two totally different things, and not very accurate. I like that series called “Coven”, though I don’t have that channel anymore.

    I also want to add the fact that the Native Americans of this country were pressed into oppressive circumstances, yet, are expected to be thankful to the White America that “allows” for these reservations to exist. Thing is, if any of these people choose to leave the res and be a “city Indian”, they lose their right to collect on monies that goes to their people used for the sole use of living off of the bad lands of the reservations. So, they can be poor in their given space, where farming and such is near impossible, or, they can be poor without monetary or social support in the rest of white America. And it’s too bad that this country really knows nothing about our original citizens of this country, and how they’ve added to who we are now as a people.

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