The Christ figure in the movie is a woman. She is naive, brilliant, cute, fragile, strong -- all kinds of paradoxes. For me, paradox is a strong signal that God is present in the situation.
pur_yel.gif (6906 bytes)THE FIFTH ELEMENT

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"There is no future without it.
Korben Dallas: Bruce Willis, Zorg: Gary Oldman, Cornelius: Ian Holm, Leeloo: Milla Jovovich, Ruby Rhod: Chris Tucker, Billy: Luke Perry, Gen. Munro: Brion James, President Lindberg: Tommy "Tiny'' Lister Jr.
Directed by Luc Besson.
Written by Besson and Robert Mark Kamen.
Running time: 127 minutes.
Rated PG-13 (for intense sci-fi violence, some sexuality and brief nudity).

David Bruce
Review by David Bruce
Web Master
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      The story begins in an ancient temple in Egypt. Ancient writing is being deciphered. It reads, "When the three planets are in eclipse the black hole will open like a door. Evil comes spreading evil and chaos. The snake is the ultimate evil." The symbols also seem to reflect the Garden of Eden story: Created order was brought to disorder through the serpent.
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The use of priests in the film gives it the feel of mystery and divine destiny.
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     I love the bright future of this film. It is so refreshing not to see another bleak view of the future as so many futuristic films do. The fifth element turns out to be Leeloo. She is the perfect being -the Christ image.
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The parallels between Christ and Leeloo are many. I was amazed by the similarities. She even comes "wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger."
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Jesus took on the sins of the world, according to the Bible.  And, so does Leeloo.  Jesus cried for the lack of faith.  Leeloo cries, too, as she learns just how lost humanity is and how destructive people are to each other.
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People do very evil things. There seems to be no good reason to save the world.  Except one -love. Unmerited love.   This is Grace.
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At the end of the film Leeloo is placed in the middle of four colored light rays emanating from the four elements forming a cross.  She then becomes the light of the world that penetrates into the universe and explodes the pending destruction.


Subject: Loved this movie
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001
From: Poffinberger

I felt that Leelo as being the Fifth Element, represented Love, just as Christ did, but that they both represented Love, not so much a comparison of Leelo to Christ. I also feel a need to point out, that many 'pagan' religions use the same symbols of Earth Air Fire and Water, with the Spirit being the Fifth element in their circles, and that this is represented by the Pentacle- not a satanic symbol but an older symbol of protection. Weird eh?

This movie cracked me up and I enjoyed it so much I went out and bought it. This runs like a cartoon in some ways, but is fun and exciting like a wild ride on a roller coaster! whoheee.

By the way, did I mention how much I just love this web site and your reviews??? = )

Subject: Fifth Element theory
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000
From: Kristian

I read your theory on "T5E", and i must say i`m not totally in agreement. First, the plot is simple, absolutte evel against absolutte good, or it seems. But, comparesing Leeloo with Jesus is to strecth it. The message in the film is that only love can save the world, hence when Leeloo beggs Korben to state his love. Jesus had another message: Underthrow yourselves to me, or face eternal pain. Now, that is not love if you ask me, that is more of a threat. Best regards from Kristian . Norway PS: Please exuce my very bad english.

Response: You have not read the Bible carefully. It says in Ephes. 5:2 "Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."

Also John 3:16 is another passage you should consider, "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life."

Leeloo is a type of Christ. -David

Date: Sat, 20 Nov 1999
From: Carl

I've seen the movie several times---it is one of my son's favorites. I saw the Christian imagery in the movie, but I think that a number of you may be missing the boat with seeing Leeloo as the Fifth Element. Earth, Air, Wind, Fire---in the closing scene, the power flowed through Leeloo, but what was the driving force, and what "caused" it? I think it was "Love," if you look at the dialogue at the end, it seems pretty clear.

August 27, 1999.
Just a note on whether or not christian or any imagery can be thought of as being conscious or not on the part of the film's creator: the fact is that making a film is a long process, through script and screen writing to storyboarding, casting, shooting and editing, and choices, small and large are made at every step. as Freud said, there are no accidents, and whether or not a director was aware of every level of implication, layers of meaning are created. It is worthwhile and interesting to read the complex text, indeed, it is a creative process to do so. Even if a director is not him/herself working with a Christian agenda, the proliferation of images in our society, as well as the very foundations of our judeo-christian social structure will influence the choices made, unconsciously or consciously. if you can provide evidence to support your argument, and the case is very strong for the Fifth Element, then there is no need to question your reading. thank you for your site, which picks up things i miss. here's one for you: the post-feminist aspect of the film (lelu the warrior but also fragile, vulnerable) creates the tension, what you call paradox, and links to women's paradoxical role in society: the image of the female christ, and associated difficulty this christ would have is highlighted by all the lines leading up to her 'birth': "cant wait to meet him" "he's a she" "this man, this perfect being" this reinforces the patriarchy that still exists in this society; perhaps the implication is that mankind needs to be redeemed from its cult of the male as much as anything else. and one more, the four elements that form a cross: see rev 7:1 and Ezk 7:2, the four angels at the four corners of the world holding back the four winds. this is an apocalypse film stocking revelations imagery of the highest order.

My response: It is so good to read an intelligent response such as yours. Thank you. And you are right movies do reflect more than what is intended!

Hi I am LadyNada.
I am glad you looked for deeper meaning in the movie, as I also found much to ponder. My take on reality is that, yes, there is a Mother in Heaven, but She is that Dark Black Mass that was coming to Earth. She is NOT evil. The movie, did not try to convey this theory, of course, because we still believe in evil. I do not. But my beliefs made the movie all the more striking in it's portrayal of a woman as the Savior. Next time, let the woman welcome the dark mass.

May 08, 1999. God is male. It says in the Bible God is male. God is male. He is. Read the Bible and find out some time. Women are not created in the image of God. They are created in the image of my rib. Now go get me a beer, woman!
Respond: Men are the weaker sex. I will prove it to you. You can’t even lift your own beer! Blessings, mnb.
David responds. The Bible says: Numbers 23:19: "God is not a man, that he should lie. He is not a human..." -NLT
Also, John 4:24: "For
God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth." -NLT
Also, no woman ever came from your rib! All men come from women:
1 Cor. 11:12, "For although the first woman came from man, all men have been born from women ever since, and everything comes from God." -NLT
In terms of God's image, the Bible says: Genesis 1:27, "So God created people in his own image; God patterned them after himself; male and female he created them." -NLT
You are right when you say, "Read the Bible." You should.

April 12, 1999. I think this is one of the best sci-fi movies ever. It's much more fun than star wars and a lot better than the star trek movies. I think that Milla Jovovich is acting great just like Bruce Willis. I think that you've mist a lot if you haven't seen this movie. So for the people who haven't seen the movie jet: GO SEE IT, IT'S -THE- BEST SCI-FI MOVIE OUT THERE!! --Theun de Bruijn

Feb 12, 1999. I love movies and I love your page. One thing lacking from your Fifth Element review is that you did not mention how Leloo did not know she was naked much like Adam and Eve before the fall. Being a perfect "sinless" being I found that motif to be interesting.
My Response: Very good, I agree.

Your thoughts (both of you) on the Fifth Element were quite interesting. I just wish they were devoted to a better film. I also wonder, David, how much of the Christian symbolism you perceive in the movies you review are the result of your own intellectual background or intentional on the part of the filmmaker. Obviously in the case of some such as Robocop and Superman (no review of Superman II?) we have it from the creators' own lips, but I do think you read a bit much into the details sometimes. Anyway, on to Fifth Element. . .this movie frustrated and disappointed me when I saw it. I wanted to enjoy it, but its flaws grated. Some imagery and themes were promising, but were not explored to nearly their potential, such as the Supreme Evil. Its subtle influence over Gary Oldman's character was interesting and very Christian in thrust, but was woefully underdeveloped. As my brother complained, "Evil only got 2 lines!" And as Jane has pointed out, its motivation in destroying the planet (why our planet?) is unexplained. Your insight on Leeloo's reaction to human evil is dead-on, though, and Bruce Willis' answer to her challenge is poignant--he can give no reason to spare humanity, yet urges her to do so anyway. Unfortunately, it is precisely at this point that the already-silly movie (cases-in-point: the huge fight scene, Chris Tucker's appalling character, and the beautiful and haunting Diva sequence's degeneration into a grating "hip" music mix) breaks up altogether: The climactic, Messianic, save-the-world scene amounts to little more than the deciphering of some puzzle books and a flash of light. The anticlimax is frustrating. I wanted to cheer the destruction of the (too-impersonal) evil, but instead found myself bored. Oh, and two side notes: I trust you are aware, Jane, that to the ancient Gnostics, Sophia was a deific mother principle who was part of a hierarchy replacing the Jewish Yahweh (whom they believed to be Satan)? And David, I find it odd that you would consider the Fifth Element's future to be "bright." To be sure, it is not a post-apocalyptic wasteland, but it does represent a more subtle evil: a mirror to our present world. It is a world facing just the same difficulties as our society: crime, government abuse, employment problems, the chaos of a hectic culture, and emptiness in life, only amplified--more crime, more abuse, more chaos, more emptiness. In fact, it is Leeloo who brings meaning and color to Bruce Willis' bleak world. The earth in this film may not have been devastated by bombs or meteors, but it does embody the life of "desperation."
MY RESPONSES: I like the way you think. You are very discerning. In reference to 'Sophia' being Gnostic, many of God's names have pagan origins. 'El' for example, the Hebrew word for 'God', is also a pagan god. And 'Lord' in Hebrew is 'Adonai' which comes from 'Adonis' a name for the Babylonian god TAMMUZ. Aton the radiant energy of the sun, the Adon or "lord," Adonai, Adonis, was introduced as a sole deity by Akhenaton 1380 bc. Early Christians identified 'Adonis' as a devil. And yet 'Jesus is Lord (Adonai)'. The use of 'Sophia' in the Hebrew scriptures predates the Gnostics use by many centuries. As to 'bright' -I had reference to light and color in the city scapes. Not to good vs. evil.

David: You are right Leeloo is a Christ image. I had not thought of this until now. The movie makes more sense now. -Ron Dresser.

Thanks Jane. It has always been hard for me to think of God as male. God is not human and therefore not some glorified human male. Since both women and men are created in the image of God. then both male and female reflect the image of God. God is neither male nor female, and yet God is reflected in both. -Susan Wymers

What I really liked about the Fifth Element is that the protagonist (Willis) never knows who he is fighting. He knows nothing of the Zorg character who he is foiling at all turns. I think as Christians we go through life with our eyes on the finish line, our goal is our focus. At every turn Satan or his minions try to stop us. How much of that are we truly aware of - I would guess very little. -Frank McLaughlin-Bruce

The Fifth Element © 1997 Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. All Right Reserved.


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