Winter, apartment under renovation, there are homeless seeking shelter against sub-zero temperatures, the builder chases them away. He has to do it. But then he goes out quickly, comes back shortly after with a shopping bag and a couple of steaming sandwiches, goes to the homeless and leaves them everything.
Is it the proximity to Christmas, or – like me – did he just finished The Path and had a great need to do good to humanity, seasoned with a vague but constant sense of guilt?
Perhaps he is just a generous man, the fact is that it is rare to see such a gesture and it remains impressed on me.
Especially since, as I mentioned, I have just finished to watch the second season of one of the most ambiguous series ever.
How thin is the line between good and evil?
When we do a good action, are we giving it to someone, or do we please ourselves?
And when does it matter overall?
Maybe he bought some food from those strangers out of pure spirit of sharing, or maybe to get noticed by the rest of the men there. But does it really matter? Those homeless will be able to feed themselves, isn’t that the point?
No, it’s not that simple.
Maybe the proximity to Christmas always brings a sense of deep nostalgia, bitterness and doubts , but this TV series was the icing on the cake of my annual budget.
How much have I done for me and for others this year? And how have I done it? Why did I do it?
Does it change anything in the general equation?
Before “The Path”, I would have replied “no, the important thing is that the act arrives”, but now … my head is pounding Does the end justify the means? In the end, THIS is the point. The crucial question.
I love when a TV series makes you think, it puts you in front of a moral dilemma and with each episode it confuses you more and more… it is not a static product, it is not a passive relationship. This show brings the viewer to take an active part, questions which faction to choose, and – for the first time – put a completely different point of view on religious cults.
I started the TV series for a very superficial reason: Hugh Dancy. My beloved Will (Hannibal), I missed him and, having discovered that he was the protagonist of this series, I decided to give it a chance. I never thought I would get so passionate about it. First of all, it has to be said that Hugh plays the antagonist, Cal, the spiritual leader of a religious movement called Meyerism, invented specifically for the show (but which looks a bit like many movements known as Scientology and Hamish), while the real protagonist is Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul -Breaking Bad), a member of Meyerism who is beginning to have doubts about the nature of the Movement and the authenticity of the path.
It’s easy to say “cults are evil”, very simple to point the camera at the negative aspects (the loss of individuality, the strict rules, the inability to interact with the rest of the world, the request for money to be part of it), but what happens when you decide to reverse the point of view and show the benefits?
When the camera focuses on the Meyerists who help the wounded after Hurricane Katrina, on the members of the group who feed the homeless, who give them shelter, on the believers who pay to find out if the waters of a well are causing dozens and dozens of deaths in a village ?? !!
Is the price they pay really that high? After all, they live in terraced houses with private gardens, cultivate the land, build houses, paint the damaged walls… What will it be like having to pray five times a day, making the journey on the Stairway to the Light?
Looking at them made me want to live a little healthier. I’m not used to vegetarian recipes *, I prefer vegetables by far as a side dish for fish and meat, but it happens that you have to detoxify a bit, or have to finish the leftovers in the fridge, and voila, vegetables become the main dish , and they make it seem natural, even special! (Unfortunately for vegetarians, they could never persuade me to give up meat or fish forever. And maybe this would save me from incoming to the Meyerist circle, more than all moral principles … curious, isn’t it?).
Fortunately, the creator Jessica Goldberg always manages the sense of balance, but for a nanosecond the viewer is tempted to join the Movement!
It is the individual personalities that make you change your mind, that remind you why the sects, the movements, are so dangerous, that yes, the price is really too high!
Individual members with their humanity, with petty actions, deceptions, betrayals.
Just as with any religion or pseudo-religion, it is the people who carry it forward to decree its “success”.
But the principles of Meyerism are acceptable.
And this is much more frightening than all those films, books or series in which it is clear that “cults are evil”!
At the end of the second season I have serious doubts about who the good and the bad guys are, who is right and who is wrong …
The Path is paved with good intentions, but as we were initially wondering, is it enough???
I am looking forward to a resolution in the third one (which should also close the series), but I am sure there will be no winners because someone will end up getting really hurt….
* Vegetable pie
(the recipe is from my mom, Mena)
Ingredients for 4 people:
-3 sheets of phyllo dough
– ½ carrot
– ½ red onion
– ½ stick of celery
– ½ tablespoon of fennel seeds
– 75 g of millet
– 1 very large potato
– 400 g of black cabbage
– 20 g of parmesan
– 1 egg
– 1 and ½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
– Salt and Pepper To Taste.
We wash the potato, dip it in cold water, and bring to a boil, boiling until it feels tender. Meanwhile we also cook the millet in abundant salted water; let’s drain it and shell it with a fork. While the millet and potato are cooking, we wash and chop the black cabbage. We grate the parmesan and peel the carrot, peel the onion, wash the celery stick, then chop all the vegetables with a knife, crudely. Pour the oil into a pan with the fennel seeds and chopped vegetables and let it cook slowly for a few minutes. Add the chopped black cabbage, lower the heat, and cook covered for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime, we begin to turn on the oven at 180 °. Peel the potato and crumble it coarsely in a bowl, then add the millet, vegetables, beaten egg, cheese, salt and pepper, mixing well.
Lightly grease a springform pan, line it with the sheets of phyllo dough, gently overlapping them and letting them protrude from the mold. We make with the filling and bake in a hot oven at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from the mold and serve hot or warm.