The Hills Have Eyes: Who Are Zomians?

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Who are Zomians?
In the 2002 movie The Hills Have Eyes a group of plucky young urbanites come across a mutated group of inbred humans who hunt rape and kill their city dwelling prey. From Deliverance(1977) to Wrong Turn (year), this common trope from the horror genre has been with us since the Villagers stormed up the mountain, torches raised, pitchforks at the ready to dispatch the monstrosity that has harassed their civility. Barbarians! Bandits! Vagabonds! Huns! Hans! Seen as hermits, witches, giants and ogres. Hill people or mountain folk, like no other “other” has garnered such fear and animosity as those “uncivilized” people. Those whom, whether born and raised or fleeing from authority, have lived outside of society in the periphery
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Really?
Classical Anarchism is a form of socialism whose ultimate goal is communism. Wait isn’t that Marxism? No. Anarchist believe that the only way to communism is through the abolition of all power structures. The State, the Church and any other entrenched hierarchies must be abolished before true communism can succeed. Marxist entrust the state under a dictatorship of the proletariat to deliver communism. The state can then be dissolved slowly over time. Why does this matter? And what does it have to do with South East Asia? Anarchism and Marxism as well as other forms of Socialism formed out of the Industrial Era. Both were repudiations of Industry and Capitalism and the growing power of the state under Nationalism. As a society in transition the ideals of equality, liberty, universal suffrage and brotherhood were espoused by both Bakunin and Marx as well as the abolition of private property. While Marx maintained that property should be owned by the state in trust of the people Anarchist eschew the idea of property
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He notes the high-grossing movie Ladaland (2010) about a family moving from Bangkok (lowland, Thailand) to Chiang Mai (highlands, Zomia) and the supernatural occurrences that follow. He then tells of similar occurrences he comes across during his fieldwork. In many of these tales, particularly when the interviewee is trying to appear “modern” the ghosts are replaced with migrants. This is an important detail that Johnson again barely misses, “it is invaded by forces that this discourse of khwam charoen purports to have overcome: “undeveloped” ethnic others or “superstitious”ghosts.” (Johnson 2013) The local Thai label these others not as northern Thai “my informants referred to Shan as such (rather than simply “illegal alien” or “foreigner”), they did not use the word Shan, nor did they use the host of other ethnonyms in local languages, such as thai-yai (Central Thai), ngiaw (Northern Thai), or tai (Shan). Instead, they identified Shan as khon phama (Burmese nationals).” (Johson

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