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The Lottery (1969): A Film Based on Shirley Jackson's Short Story

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posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 12:35 PM
I thought to honor ATS's short story contest this month with this short film based on the following story:
I don't want to write much as an introduction in order to allow the short to speak for itself.
If you have already read the story, you probably remember it quite well (it's one of those indelible kinds of stories), and I think you'll be impressed with the adaptation.

If you haven't read the story, even better! The theme of the story very builds until it is suddenly revealed and the not knowing is part of its impact.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have the inclination and time to watch. I'd discuss it more here but want to give some people a chance to check it out.
I was impressed with the acting and the build up.
(PS It's not very cheerful)

edit on 8-9-2019 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 12:53 PM
Oh life.

posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 01:00 PM
a reply to: S777S

This is the shortest but somehow the most incisive commentary I've read on the topic.

posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 01:10 PM
a reply to: zosimov

The most intense scene for me was when the little boy in the blue shirt got the stone and had no idea what to do with it.

I recognized I was him while watching the movie.
edit on 8-9-2019 by Oleandra88 because: added a lost "I"

posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 01:24 PM
a reply to: Oleandra88

That was the scene that hit me the hardest too.

posted on Sep, 8 2019 @ 04:20 PM
a reply to: zosimov

No one seemed to want to do it. The children in the beginning piling the rocks seemed to just be playing as kids do.
The one child in blue was symbolic of training the next generation into the mindless rituals of the past.

There was no talk of why, just , just because we do.
The empty rituals that are followed with no conscious knowledge of why just that we do.

Jessie herself was not openly opposed to the ritual until her family was singled out and then only because it was her family. She did not speak up when it might have been someone else. Only then did she speak the truth that it is unfair. The whole ritual was unfair, not just to her but to them all. None of them wanted to play it out as they were all friends, but you know, sacrifices must be made for whatever ancient reasons those people in the past developed them.

That's what I got from it. An old liberal metaphor. Sooner or later ''they'' will come for you if you don't stand up to them when they come for someone else. Patterns of the past were developed in the past to suit the mentality of the past and not the mentality of the present.

Holding to that interpretation, and admittedly my own liberal bias, it is an indictment of rules and laws that are out of step with how things are now. This could also be taken as an indictment on sacred teachings that no longer hold. As well it could be a statement on the Constitution that was put together for the people of two hundred and fifty years ago and, depending on how we see things now, could be noted as being out of date.

posted on Sep, 9 2019 @ 08:25 AM
a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Terry, thank you for taking the time to write this really thought provoking response!

I think your insights are truly valuable. I agree that a very interesting aspect of the work is that people are going along, seemingly unwittingly, with tradition for tradition's sake only.

I like how you compared the theme with that adage about sooner or later "they" will be coming for you too if you are complacent about injustices done towards others.

I just had a thought that the story could also be saying something about our attitudes about War. That many consider the sacrifices made to be worthwhile in order for the remaining community to have a better life.

This type of story has layers to it, and I think it really could be interpreted in many equally valid ways.

posted on Sep, 9 2019 @ 11:28 AM
a reply to: zosimov

I just had a thought that the story could also be saying something about our attitudes about War. That many consider the sacrifices made to be worthwhile in order for the remaining community to have a better life.

Ya know, I caught a whiff of that myself, just couldn't put my finger on it. Like sending off one of your own to die in battle. Yeah, that was there too.

I think the old grouchy man symbolized the intractability of ritual. While others were at least questioning. No one liked it but they had ''heard'' about other towns that no longer did the stoning. Like isolated societies and countries that for so long had lived with only their own cultures, their own little paradigms slowly meeting the rest of the world.

But that old man, never once showed any ability to think for himself, his whole life had been formed around this practice and that wast the only way to do things. And the disgust he seemed to have for anyone who even questioned ''the way it has always been done.''

posted on Sep, 9 2019 @ 01:32 PM
a reply to: Oleandra88

I was thinking about the impact of this scene again. I wonder how the townspeople's relationship to one another changes knowing what will happen again in a year. If bonds are not formed due to that. But I thought I also saw trauma in the boys expression (along with confusion). The daughter of the family smiled knowing that she escaped a fate that will fall on one of her parents, the mother showed no relief when her children were spared knowing it might be her instead (which defies what many parents have proven to be an instinct to put their childrens lives first), but to me (and maybe this is me putting my own take on it-- in fact it is not in the short story at all) the boy is still bonded to his mother and is afraid of what will happen next.

Also the idea that children need to be taught violence. I'm still trying to figure that one out. I've seen small kids lash out in ways I don't think they are copying... BUT I definitely think that violence begets violence and that growing up with a violent paradigm makes for more violent people.

Anyway. It's a very good scene and I just now had time to elaborate on my thoughts.

edit on 9-9-2019 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 10 2019 @ 05:47 AM
I am on mobile and 4 perc batteries but I wanted to tell you about a phrase we use, before I forget it again..

We call those children who instinctively know violence is bad and similar moral things "an old soul".
My daughter started kindergarten yesterday officially and one child hit her. She just stood there and did not know what to do. So in this case I have to teach her how to defend herself if it is really necessary. A hot topic, I do not want to raise her towards any violence but I will not raise a punch bag either. I see this as a big challenge.

a reply to: zosimov

edit on 10-9-2019 by Oleandra88 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 10 2019 @ 08:00 AM
a reply to: Oleandra88

I'm sorry that happened to your daughter on her first day of Kindergarden. (I have a 1st grade boy).
I agree that teaching a kid how to respond to violence is a big challenge, and it hurts the heart/soul to do it... at least that's how I've felt about it.

Interesting point about the "old soul" too. We use the same expression in the U.S.

I really hope your little girl has a good day at school today!

posted on Sep, 10 2019 @ 11:47 AM
a reply to: zosimov

I think she already forgot it and she has to learn that not everyone is nice, too. Her own lessons where I need to stick back and not interfere immediately.
Now back to the boy.

You wrote you saw trauma in him. I do not know your definition of trauma but yes he looked awkward. We would look like that maybe. It is a movie but and maybe they turned him away and did some scenes separately. I mean, who would put a stoning into a scene with kids even. I expect those who make the movie to solve this by filming things separately and then cut it together. Let those kids throw stones at a wall of wood and let them have some fun.

I mean there was not that much dialog in the movie so maybe they did that. But he could have wondered about the women who was so afraid and maybe that was it.

Or it was just confusion, we can not know really.

posted on Sep, 11 2019 @ 10:27 AM
a reply to: zosimov

Hadn't ever seen that one but couldn't help be reminded of religious scapegoating - very good short film and thanks for sharing it.

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