In 2001 interviews with Charles Tesson and Jacques Ranciere, Jean-Luc Godard speaks of the auto factory as a fortress to it's workers.
In Anthony Mann's God's Little Acre (1958), the closed down cotton mill is a fortress that has locked it's workers out. The site in which its captives were once both held and protected remains frozen...set up for the machinery of imprisonment... yet just slightly outside of time.
Especially attracted to this beacon of comfort, of the pain that is familiar, is Will (Aldo Ray), the ex worker turned to addiction. Addicted to alcohol, he, along with the other ex workers who hang just outside their prison, long for regimen and for the lubricant of daily Labor.
Their cotton machine lacks the breath of life. It just needs a trigger, and Will is fingering a pistol.
The Walden family are like beavers, digging in the ground. They exist to work. They work to compulsively dig. They dig to seek security.
The Walden's are led by Ty Ty (Robert Ryan) whose obsession with a story has led him to invest faith in the myth that gold is hidden underground.
Beavers build dams by digging in groups, called colonies. These colonies succeed because of the shared need for protection and natural resources.
The Walden's exchange of faith for gold reflects the gilded shell of the Church's promised Afterlife. God is dug and rooted out to find the true gift: material wealth.
Each of the earthy Waldens bawdily embrace their secular passions.
The family suffers for following Ty Ty's obsessive need to dig. They share the pain from one another's transgressions. Alcoholism, depression, extra marital sex and lewd aggression taint each member with the dirt Ty Ty directs them to dig.
But the shared myth of gold has become the trigger for the group's function, both in the world and as a family unit.
They burrow , they dig up their very own roots, like the beavers whose digging and flooding may cause interference with the world around them.
The abducted remembers there is a comfort in losing power. Life is smaller , containable, when one depends on the abductor. The god that owns this acre is not unlike the god that owns the cotton mill. The family, the workers, the congregation; all sickly dependent, needing the expropriation of some benevolent instigator to finger the trigger.
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