Review: In The Shadow of the Moon (2019)
“Because some thoughts are meant to be buried. Some before they even begin.”
*Spoiler Alert: This article will contain spoilers for this movie. If you don’t wish to be spoiled you probably should stop reading here.*
The title of this movie is coincidentally representative of the entire plot and message: lunacy (derived from the word lunaticus, meaning “of the moon”)
In the most general terms, this is an unabashed leftist propaganda film that uses the science fiction trope of time travel as a plot crutch. This movie is laden with deep symbology and subliminal messages. It’s constantly trying to juxtapose legitimate elements of the liberty movement with revolting concepts like domestic terrorism and white supremacy. The objective appears to be to get the viewer to subconsciously associate the topic of liberty with violence, terrorism, racism and hate.
The opening scene begins by panning through an abandoned office building in future 2024 Philadelphia where the windows are blown out and deep rumbling explosions are happening outside. As the camera approaches the window we see a modified 5-star American flag flutter past the windows as it falls from the roof. The 2nd American Civil War has begun. Over 10,000 die in the initial attack, millions die in the ensuing war. The cause? A (white) man named Harold Nowak starts a militia-style, white supremacist movement in the mid-80’s called the Real American Movement.
Liberty Is Its Own Reward
Friends, compatriots, loyalists to the white race, seekers of the truth, I write to you from inside occupied territory, soon to be freed from the tyranny of New World Order and the oppressive one world government.
This country was founded in blood. We took it from the natives, and then from the imperial British. Neither acts were peaceful or orderly or between consenting parties.
He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither. – Ben Franklin
Freedom is not free, my friends. It requires constant vigilance, constant maintenance. Constant willingness by dangerous men to kill on its behalf.
— Excerpt from Real American Movement newsletter
In the now-defunct timeline, Harold’s Real American Movement continued to gain traction from its grassroots beginnings in the 80’s. In 2024 the Real American Movement “patriots” carried out simultaneous truck bombings using homemade explosives and kicked off the next American Civil War.
In order to stop this catastrophe the main character, Rya (a black leftist), must travel back in time to kill anyone who may have had an influence on Harold’s beliefs. Even though these ordinary people weren’t guilty of any crimes themselves, Rya kills them nonetheless because the combination of their various beliefs resulted in Harold’s decision to start a radical movement. This movie makes a weak attempt to have an actual plot by delivering the story from the perspective of a detective in the 80’s as he investigates the series of mysterious murders that take place every 9 years. The acting is actually decent and the production value seems fairly high-budget.
In the year 2024, a deranged Indian physicist, Dr. Naveen, paradoxically develops the technology to go back in time by backwards engineering a device accidentally dropped in the past by Rya. The “science” behind this ability is based on a 9-year lunar event where the super moon (blood moon) passes through a specific point that reacts with pockets of Earth’s electromagnetic field to create a “bridge” into the past.
Time travel is a fascinating science fiction concept and is usually treated with more care by the writers. Generally, the “good guys” try to preserve the timeline from “bad guys” that seek to disrupt the timeline in order to change the future. In In the Shadow of the Moon however, the protagonists (if you can call them that) are using time travel to deliberately kill people in the past in order to reshape the future.
Imagine you could erase the American Civil War. How would you do it? Would you kill Jefferson Davis? Robert E. Lee? Lincoln? All the Confederate and Union leaders? But that might not be enough to erase an idea. Maybe we have to kill the people who made them who they are, who gave them their moral and political beliefs. Friends, fathers, mothers, grandparents. How far back would you have to go to snuff out the spark that lit the fuse?
But if you eliminated the right combination of people, one by one, until you got to the exact start of it, until you got to the one that undoes it all… you could reshape the future.
Now that’s arrogance to presume that you can reshape the future by carefully killing off anyone you don’t like or anyone who might influence someone you don’t like. The concept of time travel is already morally dubious, but to treat causality so lightly is not only arrogant, it’s insane.
Like most fans of central planning, authoritarians assume that with enough data they can predict complex human interactions in order to operate an “ordered” society. However, as with every socialist, fascist and communist regime that’s existed, central planning always fails because human behavior is too complex to accurately predict. The same principle applies to time travel and the consequences of causality.
There’s a great deal of symbolism used in In the Shadow of the Moon. To start with, the movie’s core concept of using the “blood moon” strongly alludes to the occult and “prophecy”. Other examples include the fact that this takes place in Philadelphia, the seat of this country’s first government and home to many of our Founding Fathers. In one scene the Betsy Ross flag is seen in the home of one of the “white supremacist” leaders. The protagonist dresses in a hoodie with a face-mask, like Antifa and uses an unconventional weapon that leaves an inverted triangle mark, a symbol for “female” energy.
Below are some examples of how symbols are used throughout this movie:
Obsession With History
The Left has an unhealthy obsession with the past. Leftists are constantly looking backwards at what happened in order to justify doing something today. Think: reparations and white guilt. Despite the name, so-called “progressives” do not actually look forward to how things can be changed in the future, they obsess about what was done in the past in order to pursue their agenda today.
In 2024 when the 2nd American Civil War broke out, instead of dealing with the catastrophe at hand and working to stop the war and rebuild, the main characters decide it’s easier to go back in time and meddle with the timeline until they’ve molded the present-day to their liking. Why bother fighting a war of ideas when you can use technology to go back in time and literally erase the ideas you don’t like?
Fighting Ideas With Violence
Finally, the primary message in this film is that it’s acceptable to fight bad ideas with violence if those ideas are really bad. Of course, who gets to decide which thoughts and ideas are “acceptable” vs “unacceptable” is completely subjective. It’s the same slippery slope of hate speech. Perhaps the most disturbing component of In the Shadow of the Moon is that most of the people killed by Rya weren’t even leaders in the Real American Movement. They were just ordinary people whose personal beliefs happened to influence a radical individual.
This movie’s message to conservatives, libertarians and patriots seems to be this: If you have any association with or influence on people the Left consider “bad” you are guilty by association and deserve to be killed.
This movie’s message to leftists, progressives and “woke” Antifa thugs seems to be this: It’s ok to kill conservatives, libertarians and patriots because even if they’re not directly responsible for horrible extremism they might influence a radical racist to do something horrible at some point in the future.
If leftists continue using violence to suppress ideas they don’t like, then a real 2nd American Civil War might not be a thing of fiction. Except in this case it won’t be a group of white supremacist domestic terrorists that light the fuse, it’ll be the likes of Antifa and the woke SJW outrage mob. Can you say “False Flag” boys and girls?Follow The Libertarian Hub