This video about Leonardo Da Vinci is called Mona Lisa – Why so Famous?
Historian Elaine Graham-Leigh decodes the film of Dan Brown’s best selling novel and uncovers a dangerous right wing agenda
The film of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code opened the Cannes film festival this week to universal critical panning.
The response to the book was somewhat better, but no one argues that either version is great art. ..
The authors of HBHG [Holy Blood Holy Grail] met one of them, a man called Pierre Plantard, who claimed to be the Grand Master and a descendent of Jesus.
According to HBHG, the Priory’s aim was to put him “on the throne of Europe”, and this gives a clue to its real nature—a small, obscure, French monarchist sect.
However, while the Priory itself may be minor, the conspiracy theories have been used to some effect by the right.
The theories have been around since the 19th century, but they came to particular prominence in France in the Second World War.
The Vichy regime used Cathar emblems in its propaganda, and there was also peculiar activity by the Nazis around the ruined castles most associated with ideas about Cathar mysticism.
The Da Vinci Code takes a profoundly right wing position and gives it a new age gloss, as if it was a genuine opposition to the establishment.
This countercultural tinge has probably helped to make it a bestseller, and leaves readers with the impression that it would be nice if there were something in its arguments.
But real resistance is never made up of mysterious organisations protecting secret knowledge from ordinary people.
Dan Brown’s presentation of fringe monarchist fantasies as the answer to all modern ills is not only a badly-written thriller.
It’s a con.
See also here.
When The Da Vinci Code was released three years ago, it generated a certain amount of controversy and was protested by right-wing religious groups such as the Catholic League. Angels and Demons has found a more muted response, in part due to a much friendlier attitude toward the Catholic Church than the one found in the earlier work: here.