The Wachowski brothers' 1999 hit release The Matrix draws on multiple religious traditions to establish its complex worldview. Two of the most prominent are Gnostic Christianity and Buddhism, which, like the film, pose humanity's fundamental problem and its solution in terms of ignorance and enlightenment. Because of ignorance, people mistake the "material" world for something real, but they may "wake up" from this dream with help from a guide who teaches them their true nature. This article explores the film's pervasive allusions to Gnosticism and Buddhism, which in turn opens up the question of the film's overarching message and ultimate view of reality.
Flannery-Dailey, Frances and Wagner, Rachel L.
"Wake up! Gnosticism and Buddhism in The Matrix,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 5
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol5/iss2/4