Split: A Social Commentary

“Your heart is pure. Rejoice! The broken are the more evolved”

Now I don’t know why M. Night Shymalan gets such a bad rap in the film industry; apparently his last few films were ‘atrocious misfires’ (Peter Debruge).

But after watching Split – I have come to a full appreciation of the various social commentaries laced within the mind boggling and challenging film.

For those that haven’t yet viewed it, the film follows Kevin – a man who suffers from dissociative identity disorder – and his 20 odd different personalities.

They (or just Kevin) kidnap a couple girls.
A bunch of other weird stuff happens.
But yeah no spoilers (you’re welcome).

Why I labelled Split a social commentary is for a variety of reasons:
~ it deals with mental health and the way in which contemporary culture views it
~ it deals with issues of abuse – an issue still rife within modern society

But I think the most relevant issue it deals with is illuminated in the opening quote:

“Your heart is pure. Rejoice! The broken are the more evolved”

Throughout the film, there are plenty of motifs (and if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what I’m talking about) that allude to the fabric of society; that we’ve become fragile and soft.

Now I’m gonna give all of you a moment to digest that – to scowl at the screen on which you are reading this article.

I ain’t no soft m*th@r f@ck%r.

Good, is it out of your system yet?

Also, please note that the discussion regarding the ‘softness of society’ is a separate topic from abuse and mental health.
Abuse and mental health is by no means a symbol of soft society.
I’m just not touching upon these issues because I’m not at all well informed on them!
I thought that this is an important distinction to make before proceeding.
Just so social justice warriors don’t take up arms (cbs dealing with that).

Aside from those super important topics, there is a subtle critique of the fragile state we seem to exist in. And we can’t even deny that there is some truth to this.

It’s too hot.
It’s too cold.
I’m bored.
No smashed avocado?
#firstworldproblems

When I was doing research for my thesis – I stumbled across a quote that has stuck with me to this day.

Modern, western civilization ‘has forgotten how to deal with adversity.’

And its true.
For those of us lucky to be living in a society where we have access to everything imaginable:
~ education
~ food/water
~ money
~ clothes
~ opportunity

– access is all we are used to.

And when we get told no.
We don’t know how to handle that.

For example:
I’m sorry, we chose to give the job to someone else.
What.
How could I not get the job?
I was perfect for the job.
I deserved that job.
It was mine.

Let me tweet about this.

To cap off – and stick with me here:

I find it funny that the word jihad has been occupied and normalised as a term only associated with Islamic fundamentalism.
And I know jihad is an Islamic term.
But jihad literally means struggle.
And if struggle is not a human term, a human condition – I don’t know what is.

Struggle helps us evolve – it helps learn – it helps us become better – not only for each other, but for ourselves.

It is growth.

So instead of complaining next time we are faced with a hurdle – I want to issue this challenge:
Embrace the struggle.
Learn from the struggle.
And share the lessons learnt.

Because, each and every one of you are much stronger than you realise.

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