Oscars 2022: Dune

New screen version of Frank Herbert’s book, that received 10 Oscar nominations, starts with the sentence: ‘Dreams are messages from the deep’. And we see Paul dreaming about Chani and the future.

He is the One, who will bridge space and time, past and future. We do not know it yet and neither does he but we can see that he is special. And so does his mother who trains him in using ‘The Voice’. He looks into her eyes while pronouncing the command but he is not ready yet. It is confirmed by the Reverend Mother of a Bene Gesserit sisterhood who subjects Paul to the ‘gom jabbar’, a deadly test that causes excruciating pain to check his self control. Even though he passes the test, she says: ‘If he is The One, he has a long way to go. His Sight is barely awakened.’ And she adds: ‘So much potential wasted in a male’.

While he is tested by the Reverend Mother, his mother recites the Litany Against Fear: ‘I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.’ She repeats it later when they are in the eye of the storm. Paul understands that he has to let go and face his fears. ‘Don’t be frightened’ – he hears in his vision. And that is followed by more words of advice: – You need to learn a lot. You must die to rise. Don’t be afraid. Don’t resist.

It happens after Paul Atreides moves with his family from his planet full of water to a planet full of sand. The native population called Fremen (Free Men) is portrayed as savages, just like the indigenous people of our planet Earth. It looks like human nature haven’t changed in 8 thousand years and people still colonize new worlds, believing that they have a right to take whatever they want. However, House Atreides is presented as more noble and understanding so they plan to cooperate with the Fremen who believe that Paul is the Messiah who will fulfilled their prophecy.

Paul’s father Duke Leto Atreides once told him: ‘A great man doesn’t seek to lead. He is called to it and he answers.’ Before his death he also told Paul’s mother that he should have married her. Which proves the fact that we usually regret more the things that we haven’t done that the ones we did. So, we should accept our destiny just like Duke Leto did, even though he suspected his mission was a trap. Let us repeat to the Universe what he said to Baron Vladimir Harkonnen: ‘Here I am, here I remain.’

And let’s remember: ‘The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience. A process that cannot be understood by stopping it. We must move with the flow of the process. We must join it.’


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