Metropolis: God from the Machine College

Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction epic, Metropolis, recalls the Christian creation and apotheosis narrative through a dystopian lens. The main characters in Metropolis personify Jesus and his apostles and close associates in a postmodern society. The city of Metropolis itself represents the relationship between humanity as God as evidenced in the Christian tradition. The film also employs key figures and myths from the Bible that help cast Metropolis as a symbol of the link between God and humanity and the chaos and torment that can characterize that relationship. Metropolis grapples with a dystopian and futuristic interpretation of the Christian foundation myth and the theology of Jesus’ mission and gospel.

The figure of Maria can be analyzed through a Christian theological perspective. Maria is first characterized as an angelic, virgin figure representing fertility and redemption. She appears in the Gardens of Metropolis surrounded by children. These children represented the youthful innocence and latent fertility of the Virgin Mary. Maria also appears to Freder following a controversial tryst he engages in with a whore. This other woman helps solidify Maria’s innocence and faith, and perhaps also embodies Mary Magdalene, who...

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