Silent films: Le Golem

Essay by EvilSttchHigh School, 12th grade June 2004

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During the silent film era in the 1920's, film directors tried to use the theme "the beast within" and a horror plot to break down tranquility in a closed society. The faustian character is utilized in horror films. It's funny how the faustian character is always the one who is greedy and tries to take what he thinks he deserves but in the end he loses it all.

In the film, Le Golem, the faustian character was Rabbi Low's servant. When the Rabbi created the Golem, the servant treated it as a servant feeling as if he had gained power. The Golem was made to protect the Jewish people of town. Although the Golem was seen as a beast, the Rabbi's servant was the beast within. He sought to destroy good and moral social constructs to be with someone he desired, Miriam. Although this was a silent film, you can depict through the action what a person is thinking.

The Golem was a confused but passionate beast who was considered a Savior to the Gentiles and a helper to the Jews. He supported and protected the Jewish community. In the end, he destroys it. Low gave life to the Golem with an amulant. Low took the amulant out of the Golem because it snapped at Low. He read that giving something life through magical powers causes it to seek vengeance and destroy. This brings out what horror movies really are. Horror films takes the viewer into a nightmare world where anything can occur. The amulant symbolizes different kinds of power. The power to give life, the power to gain more power through the strength of the Golem, and the power to try to take what you think you deserve. Out of good there always comes evil.