Saturday Matinee! The Book Of Eli!

August 24, 2013 Posted by Cecelia Dowdy

The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman

How would you survive in a post-apocalyptic-type world?

My sister recommended that I watch this movie a few years ago when it was in the theaters. I’m just now getting around to watching it! I really enjoyed this movie. This story takes place in a dystopian world. Thirty years ago a catastrophic event involving the sun has killed many people – leaving several people blind. Eli, a man who lived in the world before this event occurred, has a special mission. He needs to head West, taking a special book which he carries in his possession.

In this dystopian world, material possessions are scarce and daily needs, like water, are rationed. Most of the books were destroyed after the catastrophe and the majority of society is illiterate, struggling to survive.

I usually enjoy dystopian stories, and that’s why I found this movie so appealing. Also, the movie shows how the absence of God and prayer has affected society as a whole. I thought Denzel Washington did a great job playing Eli and I was surprised to see Jennifer Biels (from the eighties movie Flashdance) as a secondary character.

Eli is a fighter, and is protected by a force, as he survives, trekking on his journey west. In the meantime, there’s a man, a man who is as old as Eli, who’d survived from the world before the catastrophe. This man is anxiously searching for a certain book and he sends out illiterate men – hoping they will find this book during their search.

Over all, a great movie that I highly recommend. To better display the misery of the world, most of the movie was in black and white. So, if a catastrophic event occurred, wiping out a majority of the population, how would you survive?












I have to point out that the book that Eli was taking West was the Holy Bible. However, in this movie, artistic license was used. The Bible in the movie was in Braille and Eli is blind – you don’t find this out until the very end. Since my husband is blind, there’s a little-known fact about Braille Bibles that I know: A Braille Bible cannot be bound into one book! My husband’s Braille Bible takes up a few shelves. Braille letters are much bigger than print letters and when you print something in Braille, you need a lot more paper than a print book. Just a book as simple as a novel can take up to three or four huge, thick Braille books.

I can understand why they changed this fact in the movie, though. It would not have worked so nicely if Eli were carting around huge cartons of books for thirty years!! Since the Bible was only one volume in the movie, the book fit nicely in Eli’s backpack! Also, I had a short story published several years ago and I used the same artistic-license convention. My short story was about a blind woman reconnecting with her faith and I have a emotional and important scene where she takes her Bible to church and reads a scripture.



Bittersweet Memories









~Cecelia Dowdy~

2 Responses to Saturday Matinee! The Book Of Eli!

  1. Chris says:

    Just to follow up on your Spoiler Alert, the Braille version of the King James Version of the Bible is in 18 volumes. The Old Testament takes up 14 volumes and the New Testament takes up 4 volumes. If Eli were to try to haul all that around, he’d need a huge toy wagon. 🙂

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