I saw the movie Moana this week and WOW the Pro-Life force is strong with this one!
Beware: <<< Spoiler alert! >>>
Moana, a Chief daughter (and a future Chief herself), goes on a quest to find the demigod Maui in order to restore the goddess Te Fiti’s heart and stop the darkness that is devouring her island.
The first obvious Pro-Life component of the movie is Te Fiti the green goddess who has the power of creation (a little green rock called “the heart” which has been stolen by Maui). I suppose that those who don’t like women’s life-giving ability or are afraid to be reduced to that ability, might think the movie is anti-women or anti-choice. I’m one of the feminists who think that giving life is a unique power that should be celebrated, not rejected and suppressed so yes! I love this idea.
Secondly, there is Te Kā, the female lava demon who is only in this degenerate state because the power of creation has been taken from her. As a post-abortive woman, that character struck me as a personification of abortion. She embodies anger, despair and destruction. She is a visual of how I felt inside a few years ago.
Also, at some point, Moana asks Maui about a certain tattoo on his back. The proud and mighty demigod confesses that he was once a human like her. His parents decided they didn’t want him and they threw him in the ocean. He was then adopted by the gods and made a demigod. Think about it! Think about our throwaway culture and the “every child a wanted child” mantra. I don’t know what moved the screenwriters to include this in the movie but Maui was an unwanted child and the tattoo on his back depicts a woman throwing a baby in the ocean, capturing the dark spirit of the “unwanted child” and “Choice” ideologies. It speaks volumes.
When Moana arrives to the place where Te Fiti ought to be, she finds an empty space in the ocean with the curled silhouette of a woman. To me this is an image of an aborted mother weeping for her lost child. The void, lost motherhood, the women whom we are told “shouldn’t feel sad about removing a fetus” … This curled silhouette in the water is all the invisible women to whom motherhood has been refused and the right to grieve is denied.
After this, Moana realizes that Te Kā, the lava demon is in fact what Te Fiti has become when her heart was stolen. She walks toward the lava demon with the green stone in her hand, singing a soft song “Know who you are”:
I have crossed the horizon to find you
I know your name
They have stolen the heart from inside you
But this does not define you
This is not who you are
You know who you are
Then the heart is put back in its place and everything is made right again.
This movie has even more than a Pro-Life message, it has a message of hope and healing. Thank you Moana for restoring the cursed goddess’s heart and symbolically restoring ours.
Yes, there is a someone who knows our name and wants us to know that our abortions don’t define us. Anger, despair, destruction… This is not who we are. Jesus is always waiting to heal us, to restore us, to make us anew.
All pictures: MOANA ©2016 Disney. All Rights Reserved