The oracle told me I’d fall in love with the one is the most important sentence from The Matrix. It is said by the leading female character to the man who is supposed to save the world, at the moment when he and everyone else loses faith in the idea that this is even possible. He does not believe that he is the one. Because of this, he dies, but not long after that, the woman bends the narrative by understanding that she is in love and that this love was predicted by a prophet. The prophet said that this person would be the One, and so his death becomes logically impossible. He is now alive, because he must be.
In a film based on science-fiction and technocratic foundations, it feels special to come across an element that’s based on emotion rather than reason, let alone to see it become the key element of the film. Just by believing and trusting her sentiment, none of which can fully be supported by facts or science, Trinity actually saves the world by resurrecting the man who she believes was destined to do it.
The Matrix came out in the end of March of 1999, the same day the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia started. In an attempt to intertwine these two, one needs to enter a third plane, where segments of both stories float around with and without context, and inside a new one. In this new context, we put aside some of the facts, but we do not forget them as we might need them later. One is fiction and the other reality. One will forever stay in a specific predicted future and the other is now part of history. One was a blockbuster and the other took lives.
We are presented with an alleged battle between good and bad. As protagonists and as observers, we have to side with one or the other, because all good stories have villains and heroes. Prior to that, we need to know, or rather to feel, like Trinity did, which side is right. In the Matrix that didn’t seem like much of a dilemma, even with the posthumanist references made by programs that sometimes hit too close to home. The bombing was described and justified as a necessary operation to resolve the Kosovo conflict. By the Albanian people in Kosovo it was seen as an act of liberation from a dictatorship. By the people living in Serbia and Belgrade, which was heavily ruined after the war, it was seen as death.
The operation name was either intentionally or accidentally translated to the locals in Serbia as ‘merciful angel‘, which suggested that the military action was commended as a gesture of philanthropy. The actual name was ‘noble anvil’, which doesn’t fall far from that. To name things is to control them. Can there ever be one answer? Can there ever be one solution? Can there ever be the One?
If you suffer on your side and I suffer on mine, and third parties get involved, how can we ever be safe in Zion? If we all tell history differently and if we’re both right and wrong at the same time, who will survive to tell our truth?
People born in the 70s and the 80s said that they had the best parties during the bombing.
The sky was full of fire and it was scary and beautiful at the same time. The anti-aircraft munition looked like fireworks.
When all the narratives fade and the truth never gets defined, the infamous depleted uranium is still there, ruins become landmarks and villains just change roles and faces, like agents who take on the fake bodies of the people in the Matrix.