Josiah Morgan’s review published on Letterboxd:
SHED LIGHT MASSACRE
It begins with a child swept off their feet into the heavens above, but those heavens are the corporate & destructive world that ate up Bruce Wayne's parents and eat up Metropolis and eat up Gotham and eventually eat up Superman; it ends with dirt swept off a buried body, thrust from the depths of hell up into the corporate inferno it had been laying underneath the entire time..... it's just one of the two most emotional films of 2016 (the other is Philippe Lesage's phenomenal LGBTQ+ themed debut Les Demons).... I get chills every time I see the destruction of an entire city as the people are stuck within it, because I remember so vividly the two successive earthquakes (and hundreds of thousands of aftershocks) that destroyed my own city in 2010 and 2011; furthermore, I get chills every time the adults in this film realize there is no Ulterior Power and they are simply going to die, and these chills become goosebumps every time the children look up to their heroes and their heroes cannot offer solace... I don't know where Snyder & co. can even go from here..... nothing is as wrenching as the moment in which Wayne promises a young girl that he'll find her mother, when Wayne asks the girl where her mother is, promises that she'll be ok - the girl just points up at the towering ruins of a company on fire, the beautiful wreckage that nobody could have survived, not even her mother, that maternal figure who seems immortal to every child.
Bloodshed, all in the name of progression. We are not free until we find happiness, we cannot find happiness until we are free. For now, we grow gardens in the spaces between ruins and build monuments over not-yet-retrieved bodies, we live our lives ignorant of our own anxieties. We run headfirst into a mass amnesia, preferring to build next to the past, instead of moving forward, to the future.
There are many great portrayals of personalized PTSD and trauma but I have never - never - seen a film so accurately evoke a citywide paranoia, the kind of cultural backlash that comes from living through a shared trauma and never trusting anybody else to have the same experience. I learned a lot about myself wandering through empty Christchurch streets earlier this year looking for moments to film.... I didn't end up capturing any of them with the camera, I simply watched, watched as an elderly couple danced to a new-age hip-hop song next to the ruins of what used to be our police station in a concrete carpark now cracked apart and overrun with weeds, watched as a graffiti artist tagged their name onto a work of art done by somebody else, watched as a homeless man shuffled his way into an empty construction zone (the builders were on their lunch hour) so that he could have some of the water that had been laid out in bottles uncollected by their owners, watched as two of my friends stole a road-cone because honestly you aren't from Christchurch until you've taken one of those, watched my own feet tip-toe over shards of broken glass from a beer bottle spilled at the edge of a new million-dollar precinct, i still watch as We as Citizens are promised things years in the future, even as we are unsure that this future will even exist for us - this is where Batman v. Superman finds its true, pulsating emotive core: Metropolis and Gotham are cities under great pressure after immensely traumatic events, these humans are promised things to put their homes back together, and ultimately they are impeded upon by forces beyond their control, they are impeded upon by the overwhelming sense that they may all be dead by the time their homes are put back together....
the light.... a beautiful lie
"Worse came after. the government attacked."