Next Article in Journal
Islām and Genesis 17: A Study in Scriptural Intertextuality
Next Article in Special Issue
Dark of the World, Shine on Us: The Redemption of Blackness in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther
Previous Article in Journal
Ecumenical Ecclesiology in its New Contexts: Considering the Transformed Relationship between Roman Catholic Ecclesiology and Ecumenism
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Blackness of Liet-Kynes: Reading Frank Herbert’s Dune Through James Cone
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Religions 2018, 9(10), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100292

Love Thy Extra-Terrestrial Neighbour: Charity and Compassion in Luc Besson’s Space Operas The Fifth Element (1997) and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

School of Humanities, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9EU, UK
Received: 13 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction)
Full-Text   |   PDF [250 KB, uploaded 27 September 2018]

Abstract

The role of romantic love in cinema–and its redeeming aspects–has been extensively explored in film studies and beyond. However, non-romantic aspects of love, especially love for the neighbour, have not yet received as much attention. This is particularly true when looking at mainstream science fiction cinema. This is surprising as the interstellar outlook of many of these films and consequently the interaction with a whole range of new ‘neighbours’ raises an entirely new set of challenges. In this article, the author explores these issues with regard to Luc Besson’s science fiction spectacles The Fifth Element (1997) and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017). Both films have divided fans and critics and it is indeed easy to dismiss them as mere spectacle with little depth or message, as many reviewers have done. Yet, as this article demonstrates, beneath their shiny, colourful surface, both films make a distinct contribution to the theme of neighbourly love. What is more, Besson’s films often seem to develop a close link between more common notions of romantic love and agapic forms of love and thus offer a perspective of exploring our relationship to the alien as our neighbour. View Full-Text
Keywords: Luc Besson; science fiction; Fifth Element; Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets; neighbour love; agape; charity; space aliens Luc Besson; science fiction; Fifth Element; Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets; neighbour love; agape; charity; space aliens
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Magerstädt, S. Love Thy Extra-Terrestrial Neighbour: Charity and Compassion in Luc Besson’s Space Operas The Fifth Element (1997) and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017). Religions 2018, 9, 292.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top