Blessed Bees * last updated September 25, 2000
Drawing Down The Moon - A Movie
There's a new, independent video out, called Drawing Dawn The Moon.
Self described as:
Featuring Walter Koenig (of Star Trek and Babylon 5 fame), the film revolves around a witch named Gwyneth and her wanderings that lead her to clean up a small, crime-ridden town. Koenig plays a reluctant crime lord who inherited the business from his father - he virtually ignores the business, dedicating all of his time to his obsessive pursuit of fractals and chaos theory. As he comments at one point, he manages to run the only marijuana and cocaine trade that's in the red.
I sat down to watch this movie expecting to enjoy it. Unfortunately, there's isn't much that's good to say except that for those of us who like Walter Koenig, he's a treat.
The acting is stilted and unemotionally involved. With the exception of Koenig, the actors moved through the script like automatons.
For Koenig fans:
There is one memorable line where Koenig's character, Merchant, looks down at a sleeping young girl. She's twisted in an uncomfortable looking position. He's flying off in the middle of a rant about the wonders of chaos theory and his research and interrupts himself long enough to comment, "how can she sleep that way?". He scoops her up, deposits her on a nearby couch, and continues his rant.
The character development is two-dimensional. In other words, the characters each have one or two "things" that defines define them and these are the extent of their development.
a black homeless woman with cancer.
The Witch Angle:
For those of us who are witches, the character of Gwyneth is the most offensive. While the website claims that the film is not about Gwyneth being witch, she is the most aggressively witchy character I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. Worse, she is a witch who behaves like a fundamental born-again Christian.
Gwyneth arrives in town and through various means opens a homeless shelter and more or less adopts Faith, the Black Woman With Cancer. The shelter is strictly about her religion - blessings before meals are of her faith, there is a large ritual room with a pentagram painted on the floor, her speech is filled with her own assumptions and metaphors, and magic is her answer for everything that involves the group. Gwyneth never considers that these people may have a religion different than her own. Further, she assumes that they want to learn hers. She is a pushy, proselytizing witch.
To make matters worse, rather than teach her "flock" the tools of the Craft so that they can work independently, she runs everything, never allowing them do to more than hold hands and lend their energy - it's not a coven or a tradition, but a Cult of personality.
Gwyneth insists on working healing magic on Faith every night. She never teaches Faith how to work her own magic, never gives her the tools she needs to self-visualize and work with her own body and diety.
As a whole, the other characters are useless without the direction of Gwyneth.
There is a fundamental flaw in the plot - the movie, as written, should never have happened.
(1) Gwyneth convinces the owner of an old abandoned Elk's lodge to allow her to use it as a homeless shelter.
(2) Merchant has managed to buy up all the real estate around the Elk's lodge and needs that last piece to complete a deal with an abominably scripted group referred to as "The Corporation". He needs them to fund his chaos theory research. The owner of the lodge has been refusing to sell.
(3) The bulk of the movie revolves around Merchant and his incredibly inadequate thugs harassing Gwyneth and Friends to shut down the shelter. Eventually, the Corporation gets involved as well.
Why are they harassing Gwyneth when she doesn't own the bloody property?
The best part is after a kidnapping scene: Merchant kidnaps Gwyneth to explain his position. He ties up her wrists. She wiggles them a bit, then a poorly cut scene later she's running back to the shelter to warn her friends. She tells them that she's going to disappear for a while since "it's me they want". "Why?" they ask. "Because I'm a witch," she replies.
Does this woman need to get over herself or what?
The plot as a whole is riddled with contradictions, holes, and out and out bad writing. The end of the movie is so confusing that I wondered if they just decided to wing it for lack of a finish.
Direction and cinematography:
In a word, ugh. There are numerous occasions when the cuts between scenes are so jarring that any actual involvement in the film goes right out the window. The fight scenes are purely horrible - limp, no power or sharpness in delivery, and utterly redundant. The jumping of the camera at times was enough to make me wish for the Blair Witch Project.
Unless you're a fan of Walter Koenig, I just wouldn't bother.
Melissa Oringer, all rights reserved