The First Purge, released on the 4th of July, is a chilling prequel to the Purge series. It follows Nya, her younger brother Isaiah and their friends as they try to survive the first experimental purge taking place on Staten Island. The First Purge provides exposition to the rise of a new political party in America, the NFFA (New Founding Fathers of America). Following outbreaks of unrest surrounding high poverty and unemployment, the NFFA overthrows the previous government and promises to remake America. Part of their plan is to implement the Purge, which they test as an experiment on Staten Island, New York.
It is explained in the movie that Staten Island was chosen as the test site for the Purge because of it’s high concentration of low income people and minority communities, and is revealed later on that the Purge was created as a device to wipe out these communities so that the government wouldn’t have to provide benefits for them.
It is also shown how the government specifically targeted low income people by offering cash incentives for participation in the Purge, and banked on the mass murder of low-income people to encourage the “success” of the mission.
Though chilling and rightfully unrealistic, the racism and elitism shown in The First Purge is nothing but a exaggerated take on America’s current political climate. The Trump administration has festered hate against America’s lower class and racial minorities, and The First Purge shows a horrifying possibility if we continue on the same path.
The Purge Series has always attracted politically charged conversations, and The First Purge tackles those conversations head on. It is the first movie of its series to feature a mostly African-American cast, and the movie specially focuses on how the Purge affects black communities.
Though the Purge might not be a realistic thing to ever happen, but it is definitely a reflection of the prejudices of our time.