The scene opens with a student scoffing at "white, male, cis composers."
Because this is a modern Hollywood film, you'd expect there to be a little song and dance celebrating this student's woke insights – maybe a good 5 minutes of woke evangelism to let you know the good news of neo-Marxist class struggle.
But in Todd Field's movie "Tár," the world's most famous conductor Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) does the exact opposite of what you'd expect:
She owns the student with facts and logic.
[Language at the end]
Did Cate Blanchett just turn into notorious Jewish neo-Nazi Ben Shapiro???
Look, this film isn't exactly a bastion of conservative thought.
(Mild spoilers ahead)
Blanchett's character is married to a woman and has romantic affairs with her female assistant and a female Russian cellist. She shows favoritism and is a high-strung, self-centered person. A former student in her fellowship program commits suicide, leaving behind a note accusing Blanchett's character of sexually grooming her.
Without giving away too many other plot details, the overall film depicts a haunting fall from grace.
There is no hope in God, no emphasis on stable marriages and healthy sexuality, and no discussion of tradition or morality.
And yet, within this tragic drama, there is the piercing ring of objective truth around how we judge and value others.
Critical Theory, or neo-Marxism – what we call "woke" – is the belief that that value comes from the intersection of power hierarchies expressed by external characteristics. Your value comes from the color of your skin, your sex, your religion, your birthplace, your sexuality, and your life circumstances. The more oppressed you are in those characteristics, the more valuable you become.
Thus you get headlines about policies like this:
This reordering, in itself, is partially a reaction against the utilitarian belief espoused by cultures from the Spartans to the Vikings to the Nazis – a belief that your worth comes from what use you provide to society. It first starts as a genuine wish to be kind and tolerant before assuming its Marxist final form.
But in this role, Blanchett hits close to the Christian teaching of intrinsic worth that has shaped Western civilization – the idea that all people have equal inherent value and should be judged on their character, accomplishments, behavior, and skill rather than external features or deterministic outputs.
It is an important lesson: If you can dismiss Bach, Washington, Shakespeare, or Michelangelo simply because they were "cis white males," then you too can be judged on your sexuality, skin tone, and sex.
The woke might want to pay attention, for the generations after them will eat them alive based on their own standards.
As Christ said: