Hidden Meanings Behind the "Alpha" Movie (Spoilers)
Reviewed by Joy Davis

Synopsis: Selected by "Conscious Movie Reviews," "Alpha" is an action and adventure drama set during the last Ice Age in Europe.  As hunter-gatherers prepared for their annual hunt for bison, Keda had to earn his place to join the group, headed by his father, Tau.  At the hunting ground, a bison threw Keda over the cliff's edge to fall onto a ledge that put him out of the group's reach.  Grieving over their loss, the tribe left him for dead, then headed back home.  Keda woke up to find himself all alone.  He managed to survive by diving from the ledge to rapid waters below, leaving him temporarily disabled.  When a pack of wolves run after him to attack, Keda fought back, hesitating to kill their injured leader.  Instead, Keda gave the injured wolf some shelter, food and warmth.  Named Alpha, the wolf chose to stay by Keda's side out of loyalty - teaching him how to bring out his animal instincts for survival in the wild and get back home. 

Warning: Spoilers within the Presentation

A Struggle Between the Mind and Heart

Welcome to "Conscious Movie Reviews."  I'm your host Joy Davis and here to review the action and adventure drama, "Alpha" that's dedicated to my loving animal companion, Bodhi.  

During the Upper Paeleo-lithic Age, a group of hunter-gatherers, headed by Tau, prepared for their annual trek through the Sacred Path.  It was to hunt for bison. 

Tau's only son, Keda, an adolescent, had to prove he was worthy of joining the expedition by fashioning a sharp spear from rock, then endure hard blows by the men.  It was too painful for Tau to watch, so the beatings were cut short.  

Keda's mother pointed out to her husband that Keda "leads with his heart, not his spear."

Tau was intent on initiating his son into manhood.  He operated more from his hyper-masculine ways that is about domination over Nature and dominating Keda's sensitive nature.       

Messages from Nature

They followed the stone cairns and stars that served as markers along the route to the hunting grounds.

When Keda was ordered by his father to kill the boar, he refused.  In a firm, yet loving way, Tau responded by saying, "You take a life to give life to your tribe...Life is for the strong.  It is earned, not given."

When you see a boar in the wild, it's an outer message that you must learn to face your fears with courage, assertiveness and confrontation.  Because Keda refused, Nature can grant another opportunity, but under harsher conditions the next time.  

As the group gathered around the campfire at night, a saber-toothed cat made a quick lunge for Keda's friend.  He died quickly in the struggle and was buried the next day.  By losing a member, it drove home Tau's lesson earlier that their survival is not guaranteed.

The cat's way of making a sudden snatch offered a strong message.  It was for Keda to take away what he wrongly believes is his shadow - Keda's more feminine nature that he tries to hide and reject for the group's approval.

Thrown Over the Cliff

Spotting a herd of bison, the men steered them with their spears to run over the cliff.  As they stampeded to their death, one of them rushed after Keda, throwing him over the edge.  He hung on for dear life, then fell further down, landing on a ledge, appearing lifeless.

On a subconscious level, a cliff can represent being up in your head too much and away from your heart.  Tau encouraged his son to be guided more by his rational mind, weakening the connection to his heart's wisdom.

Because Keda was out of their reach, they had to leave his body behind.  Tau cried in grief at the loss of his son as they memorialized him with a pile of decorated rocks near the cliff's edge. 

Bison as a spirit animal represents strength and stamina.  They're also a reminder that family is important to you.  When the bison threw Keda over the cliff, it symbolically disconnected him from his family and tribe as a means to build his own inner strength and stamina.  He was steered toward a more natural path, not engineered by his father, but by Nature, to become a man.

Rocks were used for practical purposes throughout the film.  They can symbolize the need for Keda to be strong, solid as a rock, and for the group to connect in a primal way to the memory of our planet as rocks hold the history of the Earth.  

Left Behind and Alone

Keda woke up from a buzzard pecking at him.  He found himself stuck on the ledge with a broken foot.  Fortunately, a storm brought in enough rain to create a flood in the ravines below.  Keda dove into the water from losing his grip.  By traveling along a fast current, it represents that he was being guided to more opportunities.

Keda managed to reach dry land that was full of carcasses.  He designed a splint for walking again.  Upon seeing the memorial cairn at the cliffside, Keda knew it was too late.  They left him behind.  

Feet is often associated with support and stability.  Keda was too attached to his family for life support.  There is no such thing as accidents or mistakes, just lessons, so  Keda's sudden disability was a harsh lesson for him about the need to be self-supporting.

Relying on Your Intuitive and Instincts

Confronted by a pack of wolves, Keda defended himself against them.  He hesitated to stab their injured leader out of pity.  The wolf was left behind and placed under Keda's care to receive shelter, food and water. 

Trust grew between them in a gradual way.  By choice, the wolf stayed by Keda's side, refusing to return to the pack.  For their survival, the wolf showed Keda how to hunt for small boar in tag-team fashion.  His new friend was named Alpha.    

Wolf as a spirit animal teaches you to trust in your own instincts and intuitive guidance.  It was necessary for Keda to be his authentic self that leads from the heart. 

Keda's father taught him survival, but in a limited way - relying more on the rational mind that's a masculine tendency.  In order to learn from Nature, you must allow your more feminine energies of being sensitive like Keda to receive its subtle impressions.  And by surrendering with a generous and open heart, you can bypass the mind to access your deeper, animal instincts. 

Emotionally Cold Inside

When the wolf pack returned, Alpha was encouraged to leave with them.

Keda was alone again to endure the winter.  He trudged through the snow that covered the Sacred Path while longing for his family.

The cold snow is often associated with suppressing your feelings like Keda did without Alpha around.  On an energetic level, a dog in our life can absorb our negative emotions and transmute it to soothe us in a subtle, but perceptible way.  

At a frozen lake,  Keda spotted wolves in the distance feeding.  He ran towards Alpha, falling into the water.  As they frantically try to break through the sheet of ice between them, Keda stabs his way out for them to reunite. 

Winter is the season for going to the depths of your subconscious where dark emotions reside.  Being trapped in ice can relate to how Keda has held himself back in an emotional way to become "cold" inside from too much isolation.  He needed to break through his fear and uncertainty.

The Struggle to Survive

Keda struggled to keep going from bleeding too much.  They sought shelter in a cave that was inhabited by a big cat.  Alpha fought hard against the beast, sustaining a bad injury that made breathing difficult.  Keda took a vow by saying, "I will not give up on you.  You are my tribe."

The confrontation was symbolic of how the big cat represented Keda's wild emotions.  Wolf Medicine gives you balance when your instinctual nature is under threat by raw feelings that are raging within.  

They continued on their journey with great difficulty.  Seeing the cairn and Aurora Borealis to guide them were encouraging signs.   

Keda made the effort to carry Alpha the rest of the way.  His parents were shocked to see that their son is alive and with a wolf.  It was a joyous reunion for all.

The long and perilous journey was necessary for Keda to achieve wholeness within.  Alpha helped to bridge Keda's intuition and animal instincts in a balanced way with his body and rational mind that his father represented, for greater survival.   

In the end, Alpha gifted the tribe with pups to forge the bond between man and dog.


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