This article explores the religious symbolism in the Dutch film Spetters (1980), by controversial director Paul Verhoeven. An examination of the symbolic referents in the film, in particular the use of stereotypical male power symbols, shows how expectations of power dynamics are reversed in the lives of the main characters. The film's embedded message, played out in Verhoeven's later films, concerns the impotence of Christianity in the modern world. Questions concerning theodicy are not satisfactorily answered through traditional religious ideas. God, it seems, has abandoned the human race.
Ascough, Richard S.
"Symbolic Power and Religious Impotence in Paul Verhoeven's Spetters,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 7
, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol7/iss2/8