In August of 2014 I published an article on my website titled, “The Purge” Is Happening Now. We Just Don’t See It.” When I wrote about The Purge, I was offering an assessment of reality through the prism of the topics highlighted throughout the franchise. What I didn’t expect was the sheer amount of times that article has been clicked on and shared. Initially, I was baffled. This is not a money making venture. I don’t advertise this site, but in a way it kind of makes sense. 2020 (and continuing well into 2021) brought upon the world an intense amount of paranoia, frustration, and some The Woman in the Window shenanigans:
A poorly planned for pandemic, coupled with every imaginable thing that could happen with that, it’s not much of a stretch to feel a sense of apocalyptic dread when you wake up every morning. As a social worker and child therapist, I should not have been all that surprised by this. As of now, some of the themes brought up in the article continue unabated, and additional calamities have made the feeling of impending doom even worse. But what stands out the most about the series is its somewhat prescient nature (keep in mind that the latest entry was supposed to be released sometime in July 2020):
The Forever Purge marks the fifth and final installment in the Purge franchise – and it looks set to bring things to a fiery climax.
The movie will take place after the events of Election Year (whereas The First Purge acted as a prequel to the 2013 original) and will center on Adela (Ana de la Reguera) and Juan (Tenoch Huerta), who find solace at a Texan ranch, having fled a drug cartel in Mexico. Things go awry when a group of outsiders decide to keep purging beyond the allotted time when people can break any and all laws.
“It’s an amazing story of Latinos and Americans coming together to overcome despair and evil,” director Everardo Gout tells Total Film.
Blending thrills and sociopolitical commentary is something the Purge movies are well-known for. With this one, creator/ writer James DeMonaco hopes to “set the record straight’’ on the series’ overarching themes, condemning certain goings-on perhaps more strongly than before.
“‘I want my intentions to be crystal clear on what I think about violence and what’s going on in the world.’ That’s what he told me,” recalls Gout, claiming the film is like a social litmus test. “It’s dystopian, but he’s trying to get us to look in the mirror. It makes you think, ‘Shit, if I get pushed into a corner, would I do the same?’ Once you open that door, how do you close it again? (Total Film)”
Remember what I said about the original release date of the latest Purge film?
Black people in America, and other people of color, have to contend with the idiotic narrative that somehow white supremacy doesn’t exist. That the people who are racist simply need a hug or assistance with assuaging their economic anxiety. This refrain is often echoed by the mostly white media, and even by high profile Black people (someone please tell Charles Barkley to shut up and talk about dribbling). Unfortunately, the January 6th, 2021 siege at the capitol proved that by simply ignoring the wound of racism, it became further infected. And at the end of that Purge article, I wrote the following:
But that’s the scary thing about this movie. It’s not the actual purge that should frighten you. It’s the acceptance of it by an entire “civilized” nation. Sort of like we’re doing now.
Re-reading that makes me realize that MAYBE I don’t feel that way anymore. I think we may have the opportunity to turn the corner. The problem is we’re socialized into believing that life is simply a set of random circumstances that we make sense of through the practice of community building, and that everything will turn out just fine. Which is really fucking weird if you think about it. So…how do we get a nation of approximately 330 million to coalescence into a society that truly embraces diversity AND equity? Oooh…I know! As outlined by The Forever Purge director Everardo Gout (and a central tenet of therapy): good ol’ self-reflection.
Unfortunately, some of us refuse to look in the mirror.