QwertyTHE VILLAGE (2004)
PHILOSOPHICAL ISSUES: Ethics, Consequentalism, Logic
CHARACTERS: Ivey Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard, blind heroine), Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix, Ivey’s intended), Noah Percy (Adrien Brody, mentally impaired friend of Ivey and Lucius), Mr. Walker (William Hurt, father of Ivey and the village’s leading elder), Ms. Hunt (Sigourney Weaver, Lucius’s mother and another elder)
OTHER FILMS BY DIRECTOR M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Signs (2002), Unbreakable (2000), Stuart Little (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999)
SYNOPSIS: The film appears to be set in an early American society that is ruled by a group of elders that is comprised of both men and women. Scenes depicting youthful dalliance, communal intimacy, and a wedding of two of the young colonials give the village a utopian feel. However, the village is haunted by the death of its own members to disease and the fear of creatures that inhabit the woods outside the village. The colonials refer to these creatures as “those we do not speak of,” and the villagers have negotiated a deal with the creatures that neither will venture into the other’s territory. Lucius Hunt wishes to go to the neighboring towns to seek medicine that would improve the village’s well-being. He believes that his good intentions will spare him the wrath of the creatures, but the elders refuse to grant him permission. After Lucius becomes engaged to Ivey Walker, Noah Percy stabs him out of jealousy. As his condition worsens, Mr. Walker decides to send Ivey, his blind daughter, to the town for medicine. First, he reveals to her that the creatures were a farce, a device of deception. After she ventures through the woods, the greater deception is revealed to the audience. The village is actually set in present day America, and the elders have kept the village secluded in a wildlife preservation. Ivey gets the necessary medicine from a park ranger that pities her, she ventures back to the village, and Lucius is healed.