You'd be forgiven for thinking that I was talking about the immensely popular TV series Lost; with Locke the man of faith who hunts boar, Jack the man of science and the leader, Hugo who checks everyone against the manifesto, and the 'Black smoke'. But I'm not writing about the similarities between Lost and Lord of the Flies. I'm just wondering if any of us would cope as these boys initially did.
Even after all of our 'survival' training thanks to the upsurge in popularity over the past few years of Bushcraft on TV, after checking to see if we were on an island or the coastal region of a mainland. Would we then check for resources before making a signal fire and building shelter?
Unfortunately after a hunt for the beastie that's terrifying them, the boys break up into tribes which leads to them going wild and a brutal killing. The boy that's killed is the same on that realised that the only 'beasties' on the island were the boys themselves. It's also the same boy that found the truth behind the island beastie.
Very quickly a whole culture is created by Jack, the leader of one of the tribes, including supernatural beliefs involving the beast. It's clear to see that there's a lot of fear and it's actually every boy for himself.
In the film and we see a brutally honest portrayal of Jack's savagery and Ralph's civilisation approaches, although perhaps a little extreme. The 1963 film is shot in black and white with some interesting film angles. It's a film that takes its time all the way through, from us hearing all the boy's names in the beginning to the 30 seconds or so that are spent watching a boy not saying anything to his rescuer as he is too bewildered. We see early on that it was important to Ralph for the signal fire to be kept going for a chance of rescue. A fire did bring about rescue, but it was a forest fire set by Jack's tribe using the glasses stolen from Piggy, for the purpose of trapping Ralph.
The last shot is poignant, as we see Ralph crying. I don't think that these are tears of joy at being rescued, but tears of grief for the boys Simon and Piggy who didn't make it and for his the innnocence he has lost since arriving on the island.
It's definitely a film that's worth watching and a book that I'll be looking out for.