The Purge: Election Year (2016/2020)

The Purge is an annual event that lasts for 12 hours overnight where all crime is considered legal, including murder, armed robbery, rape, drug related activity and so much more. This annual event started as an experiment to test how people react in a state of nature, which we get to see in full effect in the last movie released, The First Purge (2018). Purging was established as a federal holiday/event when the New Founding Fathers of America wrote it into law as a way to create national cleansing, which is basically old conservative white people’s excuse to violently remove “undesirable” people from the growing population. As we see in the original film, The Purge (2013), everyone is affected by this event. While some people are able to afford expensive security systems that keep their families protected, others are not so fortunate; on either side of the spectrum, no one is subject to immunity from the Purge so if you take one misstep, it could be your last. No one is safe.

This film, The Purge: Election Year was released in 2016 and came out during a very trying time in American politics. It was the last year of President Barack Obama’s 2-term presidency and the next presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If you’ve seen this film, you’ve probably thought it was ironic or coincidental that the presidential candidates in the film were also a white woman (liberal) versus a white man (conservative), but I am here to tell you that it was not. Films have a way of foreshadowing future events based on references to current events and history. It is important to note that (1) film was already in development in October 2014, (2) filming began in September 2015, (3)¬†Donald Trump became an official nominee in May 2016, and (4) the film was released in July 2016 way before we knew the final results of that year’s presidential election. So, with that in mind, let’s review with a brief film analysis, take a look at events that have occurred based on this film and potential events that are still on the horizon.

Film Analysis

The film starts with an introduction of Purge night, where we meet Charlie Roan for the first time. She tied up and gagged along with her family members as funk disco music plays in the background. Their killer hasn’t made a choice of who to kill and murders them all, except for Charlie. She gets to be the woman to live and tell the tale of her trauma.

As Purge night is once again approaching, there are protestors in Washington, D.C. fighting to end Purge night. The peacefully assembled citizens are upset because the Purge night is being used by the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) for their own financial gain. Daniel Bishop, Purge Extractor, from the Purge: Anarchy film is a radical black man, who challenges the elected officials and holds them accountable for their responsibility to the people. He argues that the NFFA doesn’t provide middle class citizens with health care, welfare, housing, and are not using resources funneled from the Purge for impoverished communities. Charlie Roan has now become a Senator and is running for President. Her campaign promise provides hope to all in ending the purge. Her opponent is Minister Edwidge Owens, a member of the NFFA. His campaign promise is to use the Purge to do some spring cleansing. He reminds the audience of the midnight Purge mass, calling it “the night that saved this country from economic ruin.”

The Senator’s head of security is Leo Barnes, our star protagonist from the Purge: Anarchy. The day before the Purge, the security team learns that all exceptions are dropped and government officials are no longer entitled to special immune during the Purge.

This announcement puts Leo Barnes into immediate action. He sets up a securely located house to protect the Senator, fully equipped with an armed security team, cameras, walkie talkies, a lock down security system and hidden safe room as an emergency exit strategy.

In the next scene, we meet some new characters — Joe Dixon (shop owner), Marcos (shop employee), and their friend, Laney Rucker also known as “Pequena Muerte” which means “little death”. Joe and Marcos catch two teenage girls on their security cameras stealing candy bars and snacks. They’re confronted by Joe and they lie about stealing. Laney steps in to show them some manners.

After the girls leave, Joe receives a call about his purge insurance. The representative informs him that his premium went up by thousands and if he doesn’t pay the balance in full, he’ll lose his shop coverage… ON THE PURGE NIGHT… It’s almost guaranteed that people will destroy the shop, loot and maybe even burn the place down.¬† He decides to protect it himself and Marcos joins him – they sit on the roof with a cooler of beers and lawn chairs holding guns, guns, and more guns.

Laney is out doing Purge Patrol with a friend/colleague to save people in need of medical attention. This is where we see the Purge up close and personal.

Meanwhile, the Chief of security betrays Leo and Senator Roan. He rigs the security cameras to play on a loop so his crew of men can enter the premises, kill the armed guards and secure a death for the Senator. Leo does a radio check on the guards and realizes that they’re not answering him back or looking at the security cameras when he buzzes for them to respond. He adjusts the settings on the cameras and when the timing is fast forwarded to play in real time, he realizes that all the armed guards securing the house have been taken down. Leo grabs his weapons and pulls the Senator from her room, handing her a bulletproof vest. A crew of men roam through the house looking for the senator, but she’s exited the house with Leo through the hidden safe room. Now they’re on the run looking for undisturbed shelter on Purge night. The crew of men is supposedly a highly trained, skilled militia who represent various occult groups with their uniforms displaying the confederate flag and Nazi swastika stitched patches.

Foreigners from all over the world have traveled to America for Purge night; they are being referred to as, “Murder Tourists” — we get to see these tourists in action when their trap works on the senator and Leo: watch video below.

Joe and Marcos save the Senator and Leo Barnes from the Europeans dressed as – _______ , ________, _______. Symbolism of the historical figures they were costumed as during the Purge.

The looters come back, with friends and a chainsaw [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GhSM3Gu9VU] “Pequna Muerte is back” – underground triage center in the community…

Further, Purge Patrol: people dressed in all white cloth hanging from a tree with a woman running/dancing/singing under the tree. A black man with dreads covered in blood standing on a rock giving a monologue: “the gates of hell have opened and they’ve let me in. It’s survival of the fucking fittest. Who’s the fittest? I’m the fittest of them all.” – the symbolism of these two visualizations…

They hide under a freeway overpass, interrupting a gang fight club. Note: tracking device in his bullet. The gang members bang and beat on the outside of the triage van. They need help, their homeboy is about to die. They agree to exchange favors – the militia is led to the dock and the gang members take them out. The van (Joe, Marcos, Senator, Leo, and Laney arrive at the “safe zone”.

They meet Dante Bishop >> The Underground Railroad – The real victims of the Purge that the NFFA is trying to eliminate (the homeless, the poor, youth volunteers). Their goal is to assassinate the Minister at the Chapel during the midnight mass. They have an underground tunnel set up, schematics and everything. Government trucks headed towards the “safe zone”… the same soldiers as last year…

Symbolism of The Purge & Current Events

Charlie Roan for President: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iakwaQ5i9Bk] >> hope for Hillary (what we all wanted, but didn’t get)

Symbolism of the Purge & why/how it might actually happen in America, how it has already started – new notes on coronavirus, white supremacy, riots and regulations, etc.

Michigan Militia plan to kidnap female governor, Gretchen Whitmer

Potential Events still on the horizon

2021: The Forever Purge: trailer [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW6VZ8ZHtWg]

About Brittany J. Rosario 48 Articles
I am currently a student at Kennesaw State University-Marietta campus studying English & Professional Communications. I enjoy writing poetry, painting, and reading fantasy novels in my spare time. There's something about being a creator that gives you a different perspective on life. From my mind's eye to the canvas.