I must start this post by confessing that I’ve loved the last 2 Batman movies. Recently, it has been increasingly difficult to find good action movies that go beyond good special effects, history and awesome weapons. “The Dark Knight Rises” is one of those movies that goes beyond and has political messages and debates behind all the shooting and fighting.
Starting by planning an underground army in the sours of Gotham City, the antagonist Bane, seeks to return Gotham to “the peoples” and give a mayor strike on the rich, the powerful and as usual, “the system”. Bane’s attack to the Stock Exchange building and making Bruce Wayne go from billionaire to.broke, after which he is hunted by the Batman. The Batman gets defeated and sent to exile to a prison believed to have no escape and where he is to see Gotham’s destruction in the hands of Bane and its army. Without the Batman in the way, Bane easily takes over Gotham City and starts dissolving all forms of government or institutions such as polices but still remains with a court where wealthy capitalist are sent to exile and the police hunt down.
Gotham slowly goes into chaos and misery, surviving by supplies they get from the outside world and ruled by fear and the own impossibility of their own citizens to restore an order they soon started to miss. After some months, the Batman appears again as a symbol of justice and fighting against oppression, with a final victory that cost his own life to save Gotham.
In my opinion, this story could be a perfect analogy of what has happened in Soviet-Russia or Cuba, for example. There is a communist leader that assembles an underground and secret army that looks to take over the government to return the city/state to the peoples and free them from the “oppression” that they must bear. Bane could easily represent Ché or Fidel Castro, when they took Havana starting a revolution where the peoples would be in charge and freed from the “dirty hands” of capitalism, at first many of the peoples might have been happy until they realized that this only led to starvation and misery. The action of the batman could be represented by some entrepreneurs, social activist and even politicians that took a stand and raised their voices against what was coming but where either ignored or forced to flee. Cuba received aid from the Soviet Union the same way as Gotham did, and actually still receives aid from Venezuela for its subsistence. The symbol of the Batman could be seen as a symbol of a great leader that may inspire the peoples to look for a change in their society and from oppression, the way Gandhi was in India, Mandela in South Africa and even Fidel himself in Cuba.
I think of the sacrifice that Batman makes as the years and life that are lost by those who try to defend things as easy as freedom of expression, private property or the pursuit of happiness in any way they prefer too.
And as a final lesson from this movie, any form of leadership that seeks to “free” the peoples trough violence, just by the way it achieves this “freedom” is doomed to oppress those who it “frees” and to evolve into a kind of government they themselves sought to erase.