This 2007 American film by Jerome Bixby is a dialogue-based dramatization of a story by Gordon R. Dickson about a man claiming to be a 14,000 year old caveman. While his friends/former colleagues initially believe that John is pulling their legs and go along for the ride just for fun, they eventually begin to believe that what he says might be true. This causes anger in several of his guests as they are forced to question the validity of the things they have always believed to be absolute truths.
Questions are raised about the validity of both science and religion. Things that are thought to be absolute truths one day may be refuted the next, replaced by new beliefs. People want something that they can believe in and when it seems that one’s comforting belief may be taken away, a person can have irrational, even violent reactions.
I have had discussions about belief with my son, who is, in my opinion, one of the wisest people I have known, although he is only 23 years old. He said that while he has certain spiritual ideas which he on some occasions holds to be true and on other occasions hopes are true, in general he feels that the only way to be a true scientist and a true seeker is to conduct oneself as an agnostic. Thus, one does not reject possibilities, nor embrace anything as absolute. One is always open to discovery and change.
As to the nature of questions such as life, death, and salvation of the soul should there be a soul, we are not in a position to know the absolute truth in these matters. This being the case, it is best to keep an open mind and an open heart. We must, as Dr. Martin Luther King Junior said, learn to disagree without becoming violently disagreeable.
Those hungering for a sexy, sexy action and coitus-packed film about sexy, sexy bloodsuckers will be sorely disappointed by this gritty 2008 Romanian film. The Strigoi generally resemble sentient zombies far more than the kind of suave, toothy vampire audiences have come to expect. They certainly do not sparkle. Some Strigoi (the living Strigoi as opposed to Strigoi Morti) look and act like anyone else most of the time.
The film moves at the pace of life in an East European village. The protagonist, Vlad, is an ordinary man whose life has not turned out as he had hoped and who now knows more than he ever wanted to about his neighbors. This is not a thriller. There are no heart-pounding tense moments. There is no soft-core porn wrangling between the sheets. There are only common-looking people trying to deal with the problems of life, not all of which are supernatural.
Coming from an East European background (Lithuanian), I resonate with these people and their attitudes and culture. I never had to deal with Strigoi, of course. However, the stoic resolve of the common folk living a life that is far from glamorous is something I am well familiar with. Most of us do not end up living a fairy tale. Most of us get by, and sometimes we must deal with things that are strange and terrible, and which we cannot seem to put to rest.
I could do with a lot more films like this one.
The Real Cie