The Eden Myth Secret

OK, here it is:  For something like a century or two, all the members of this family have only married each other as a way to maintain purity.  (Purity of what?  Don't ask me, I'm just reporting.)  As best I can figure out (the film is a bit unclear) this doesn't even mean cousins but brother and sister.  One result is that they've developed their own blood type so that any other transfused blood will kill them.

The doctors in the film don't recognize the blood as any different despite testing nor apparently have any other doctors anywhere.  Do the family members just never seek medical care?  The four children all live away in different places so it's not like they just pop over to the, ah, family doctor.  Why think even a couple of centuries would be enough time to develop such a biological trait?

But how did this work anyway?  Did nobody in the town ever notice what was happening?  Were death notices not in the paper?  How were wills probated?  (Presumably these weren't legal marriages, even using assumed names or falsified info.)  How did they explain to children why there's only one set of grandparents?  (Who aren't mentioned in the film.)

And where exactly does the breeding population come from?  Even if cousins are considered, that would require pretty large families every generation to keep from dwindling down (as the family actually seems to have done).  Again, no outsider seems to have noticed this and the grown children in the film have never figured it out either (well, inbreeding does have its drawbacks).

Probably this was meant somehow as a statement on control and family politics or an absurdist move, and on stage where make-believe is front and center it's possible the conceit might have worked.  But film has a different conceptual relationship to "reality" and has never quite shaken its documentary (to apply an anachronistic concept) roots.  Even at their most fantastic movies attempt to create the illusion of real events (the great failing of special effects).  The Eden Myth uses a mostly restrained, classicist style which means that the revelation's break with our livable reality only serves in true modernist fashion to focus attention directly on the work, which in this case can't withstand the scrutiny.


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