Der Golem (Techno-Judaism) (A Narrow Circuit)


In Paul Wegener’s classic film The Golem: How He Came Into the World (1920?), so many intermingling oppositions relating to the relation between religion and technologies are packed into the tight confines of the neo-gothic set design of the old Jewish ghetto:

–magic, astrology, and technology

–sex, love and artificial life

–mysticism, religion and ritual

–stars and swarms of jews

–organic and artificial elements

–matter and animation

–contrasted states of consciousness and zombie non-consciousness

At the end of the movie there’s almost the promise of escape, release, and redemption. The Golem almost makes it outside. But in the end, the gates close the Golem and the Jews back into the ghetto. That’s the closing image, the image of huge wooden closed gates. (Reminds me of The Star of Redemption)

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About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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