Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Ridley Scott (2012)

This post is not about the cinematic qualities (or lack thereof) of Prometheus but about some ideas concerning the film as a cultural object.

Prometheus posits that the origin of the human race was engineered by aliens. These aliens resemble art deco Aryan supermen. From what we see, they are all men, they are as white as possible, and they created humans from their exact DNA. This scientific evidence was discovered by a couple of white British scientists who lead a team of white people to a distant planet, based on ancient carvings from various non-white world civilizations (Africa, Asia, Latin America). That is, the advanced white Europeans discover from primitive non-white civilizations the origins of all humanity.

I cannot help but find this eerily similar to the wave of turn of the century British archeologists who were so determined to prove that the white race originated in the United Kingdom that they perpetuated a series of hoaxes. So great was the urge to separate themselves and their culture from the origins of the species in Africa that they fabricated scientific finds. Ridley Scott's film does similar work. The scientific record not only finds the origin of our species in black people, but the origins of complex civilization and religion lie in North African and Middle Eastern cultures (brown people).

Was the prospect of black aliens too much to handle?

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