Albert Camus, Metaphysical Revolt, Gnosticism and Modern Cinema

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In The Rebel (1951) Albert Camus assigns ancient Gnosticism an important place in the history of human revolt. In his interpretation, Gnostics incarnate the spirit of proud rebellion and protest against a God deemed responsible for human suffering and death. For Camus these are the roots of metaphysical rebellion in Western history that, beginning in the eighteenth century, culminated in the fascist and socialist utopian experiments in the twentieth century. After assessing Camus’s view of Gnosticism, this article claims that modern cinema shows the impact of The Rebel on the way several recent films conceive of their rebellious protagonists. The controlled character of the revolts they promote shows that modern cinema follows Gnosticism in their analysis both the modern sentiments of alienation in contemporary society and the ways to break free in order to attain a life worthy of its name.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-70
Number of pages26
JournalGnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15-Mar-2020

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