“Colonialism” is a word that conjures up different responses. In this day and age, the term creates more of a negative reaction since we have reached an age when many, if not all, of the ideas and concepts of it were considered exploitative and racist. Heart of Darkness, The Four Feathers, and even Tarzan were all stories told during this period and there is obvious controversy surrounding all of them. They are about civilization versus “savagery,” and the destiny of certain societies to conquer and convert others. Though these are the elements of colonialism, there is another side to the ideology that leads to compelling stories.
The Lost City of Z represents one of these tales as it is about the adventure of Colonel Percy Fawcett as he braved the Amazon wilderness to find the mythical city of Z. The movie is based on the non-fiction book by New Yorker staff writer David Gann, who not only told the vague story of Fawcett, but braved the wilderness himself.
The trailer conveys many of the elements that have made Fawcett’s story popular. The thrill of adventure, the perils of obsession, and the threats of the unknown are present in different incarnations within the trailer. The voiceover discusses destiny and provides the drive of the character. The beautiful jungle landscapes portray the idea of “discovering” lands untouched by civilization. The natives represent some of the possible threats that Fawcett and his company faces.
My only issue with the trailer is that every single line felt so cliché. It comes off this way because we have seen this kind of story so many times before. Of course, this is still a trailer so we will see if the filmmakers will be able to surpass this issue. The film is directed by James Gray and stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Tom Holland. It will be released in theaters on April 21, 2017.