Ari Aster (Photo by Andrew H Walker/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Ari Aster Never Saw Midsommar's Village As
A Cult
Ari Aster’s “Midsommar” delivers a horror tale that balances its shocks with commentary on trauma and relationships, as Florence Pugh’s Dani and her friends find themselves surrounded by a sinister cult practicing Scandinavian paganism. While many would quickly identify the Harga community as being a cult, the filmmaker doesn’t share this same perspective.
To Aster, the Harga people aren’t a cult but a “community” and a “family.” The filmmaker explained, “They’re not foreboding. There’s nothing foreboding about them. They love this world. They believe in what they’re doing. They’re absolutely fair. They love each other. They are just completely in touch with themselves and their lives and each other. That’s all it was with them.”
He added, “No, I don’t see them as a cult. They might be. But I never called them a cult. For me, they are a community, and they are a family. I wanted them to exist as a place with a history and very clear laws and rules and traditions. I wanted all that to feel very rich, and very lived in.” Their practices are questionable, but they support Dani in dealing with her past trauma.