Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (2011)

Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (I’ll never fully get used to those semi-part names) is, well, an entry in the Twilight series and I’m not surprising anyone by saying it’s not great. It’s silly and boring and too long and weird. I haven’t seen the last part of the series but it didn’t really matter, I had no problem getting into the story, which mostly comes from the fact that there is a minimum of story. Enough people wrote about this movie, too, so I don’t need to get into the whole abortion/pro-life debate, also because I find it somewhat boring. I feel the movie is more ambiguous about it than most angry people say and it fits that it raises question it doesn’t want to answer. Just like its incredibly passive main character Bella, the movie is very good at whatever.

Something that bothered me in this movie (and in the others, that’s just the one I saw now), is how the movie differentiates between the two main tribes of its “creatures.” We have vampires and werewolves. The vampires are white, European, rich, educated, basically aristocratic. They have manners, they care about traditions and rules. They are doctors and always try to be in control. Sure, they have to watch out not to get too thirsty, so they are all about self-control, which is Edward’s main conflict. And of course he stays in control because he is perfect and great and cute and everything. Even when he hurts Bella, she is forgiving and puts the blame on herself. They are not all in agreement with each other, but it is more full of intrigue, calculation and planning.

The werewolves are Native Americans. They live on a reservation, where it’s always raining or dark. They are poor and also care about traditions. But they have not the slightest self-control. It is made clear (especially through Jacob) that whenever they get angry, they turn into wolves, become aggressive and confrontational. Jacob fantasizes about Edward being eaten by a gigantic bear. Jacob is so annoying because he is childish, he just can’t control himself or his feelings. Sure, romantic and fascinatingly wild, but it’s clear that he is more dangerous. They constantly seem to struggle, also within their tribe.

It is basically a comparison between civilized and savage, which would be fine if it was just about those two races of monsters, but turning the werewolves into Native Americans makes it really problematic for me. Painting tribal societies as savage and uncivilized is so terrible and wastes another chance of trying to see that we can learn from them, not that we have to teach them our awful sense of control.