Babylon A.D.

Director Kassovitz blamed studio interference for the mess. Two cuts of the film – one by StudioCanal for the European market, and one by Twentieth Century Fox for an American audience – support his claim, but while the French cut further stresses the Christian-Futurist theme of Dantec’s novel neither version is cogent. The idea that a society without faith or family structure cannot cohere is a strong one in France; psychoanalyst and cultural commentator Jacques Lacan (raised a Catholic) made the point with uncharacteristic clarity in The Triumph of Religion, (1974; trans 2013) insisting that only the “true faith” of Roman Catholicism was capable of erecting meaning sufficient to obscure the unbearable dimensions of “real” brought to us by the discoveries of science. Jesus is reputed to have fathered two children by Mary Magdalene – one boy, one girl, just like Toorop and Aurora – by masonic lodges in France, a rumour exhumed at length in the popular bestseller The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail (1982) and later reheated by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code (2003). Dantec himself cited the influence of philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who with Felix Guattari compared the patriarchal set-up of the Catholic confessional to that of psychiatrist and patient in Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972).

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