Edited by Pedro Martins
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits cinemas about 15 years after I went the the theatres for the first time to watch something about J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, and there I go to watch it. I would have I lot to say, but I need to talk about Credence. I would rather stick to how much that character got my attention.
Credence (Ezra Miller) is a scared young man, weird, a “freak”, practically mute. Shaky, always looking down, completely abused by his adoptive mother who nurtures devastating fear and hatred for “witches” and wanted to exterminate them “for everyone’s safety”. Credence, secretly, just wanted to be a part of that magical world. Wanted to learn, since he kept inside himself an “Obscurial”, an enormous concentrated parasite force. It comes from wizards that, throughout the centuries, were forced to hide their strength, to reject it, implode it, and its devastating power kills in a few years whoever hosts it. Attention to the depth of this metaphor that can go unnoticed.
Ezra Miller’s character tries to be accepted from all sides, but when he doesn’t give the people around him what they expect, it’s not enough. With no strength to react, he backs further off. Credence is obviously a magical creature, but doesn’t know how to be it. He doesn’t really know who he is, nor what he can do with his suppressed strength. So suppressed, so trapped, so hidden, it gets obscure and slowly kills him in the inside. When the situation hits a limit, Credence realises he’s being used and explodes. The Obscurus inside of him is revealed in all its power and goes off killing, destroying the city, starting a war: devastating himself and everything around him
I left the cinema thinking of the thousand times that, in my own life, I imploded my light simply because the world wouldn’t get it, wouldn’t accept it. I wanted to be a part of a made up world. And the uselessness of that, because it always explodes and that is, in fact, devastating. Some times liberating, of course. But never pleasant. I thought of many other people – acquaintances and strangers – that went through that in a much more drastic way.
I thought of victims of persecution, prejudice, oppression, for thousands of reasons, scattered all over the world. Unfortunately, the list is endless. The “magic” that J.K. Rowling portraits is, for me, clearly that force we all have inside ourselves. The times in which we repressed our light because the world thinks differently. Anxiety and depression get more and more common: you need to be, you need to have, you need to match, it is forbidden to fail, it is terrible to disappoint and, of course, don’t forget to post. Show off. The on-line world is constantly, presently, wanting you to be accounted for, like Grindelwald cornering the boy against the wall: show me, what have you done? What did you get? Show me you’re useful for something.
Credence’s message is serious, is sad, but it’s a warning.
In a sentence, I’d say: we are all magically humans.
We are extraordinary and that can’t be hushed. Our magic lives in uniqueness: you are unique and it has unimaginable power. It’s dangerous to implode a force! Let magic explode freely, “to – truly – everyone’s safety”.
Where to find fantastic beings? Inside of me, of you, and that stranger by your side.
conceal the magic.
May it shine strongly,
full of life.
Clarice Freire is a writer and a publicist. Made her first trip to the moon in 2014 with Pó de Lua (Moondust, in free translation), her drawn poetry turned into a book. Followed by over 1.5 million people in social media, with two best-sellers published by the Brazilian publisher Editora Intrínseca, loves J.K. Rowling’s magical words since childhood, thinking the best place in the world is imagination.
Translated to English by: Beatriz Souza