Politics always get intertwined with movies, same as with novels and TV shows, basically any time writers develop stories there is always a little smidgen (or more) of their own political views transferred into the narrative. Occasionally, the political message is an important aspect of that narrative and sometimes it feels forced in for no good reason. That’s stories for you, and the Harry Potter franchise is no different.
In the Harry Potter series, whilst racism, in general, was not approached in terms of skin color, the debate on muggles versus Wizards was handled very much like racism or many other real-life prejudices.
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In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the antagonist is Gellert Grindelwald, the famous earlier dark lord who had very similar ideas on magical rule of all humans as the later Lord Voldemort. Basically, Grindelwald is like the Hitler of the magical world in many ways, inspiring others to his cause and causing the world to erupt into war based on whether non-magical humans should be ruled by those with magic.
LRM was fortunate enough to attend a roundtable discussion with cast and crew from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and producer David Heyman was asked if the political divide in this sequel movie was a reference to our current political climate.
“Yes, but they also relate to what was going on in the world fifty years ago. Alas, history repeats itself. And there’s been predators and bigotry of all forms. There’s been hatred and lack of sympathy for people who are different. There’s been a desire to stigmatize and bully and diminish people for hundreds of years. We are in a time where it’s louder admittedly, people are speaking louder. The nature of communication is such that it is heard louder, but it’s been going on and we may like it less, but it’s there and it’s been going on, so Jo is speaking to today, but she’s speaking to human history too.”
It will be interesting to see how far forward the Fantastic Beasts series goes and whether like many fans expect, the very real rise of Nazi Germany in WWII is a by-product or consequence of the war brewing in the Wizarding world.
Are you looking for a bit more politics in Fantastic Beasts or hoping for something a bit more child-friendly like the main Harry Potter series? Let us know your thoughts in the magical comments section below.