The Clan of the Boltcutter
|Title:||The Clan of the Boltcutter or, Why Keys Are Not the Tools of Freedom|
|Date(s):||May 29, 2015|
|Fandom:||Mad Max: Fury Road|
|External Links:||The Clan of the Boltcutter|
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The Clan of the Boltcutter or, Why Keys Are Not the Tools of Freedom is an essay by Joyce Sully and posted on her Tumblr soon after the release of the film Mad Max: Fury Road. Sully tracks the boltcutters used throughout the movie and examines what this item means in terms of the movie's feminism. Not only is it used to free The Wives, both Max Rockatansky and Nux use it to literally cut through chains.
The return to Citadel does not come because they must steal the keys to the belts, the cars, the city, or anything else. Joe is not kept alive to be tortured or traded for the secret to escape. In this sense, the moment we and Max properly meet the women for the first time–cutting away the objects of their subjugation, alone in the desert–they are free. The film becomes a story of keeping freedom, not of obtaining it. With the boltcutter in hand, they free themselves without even the unwilling assistance of any man.
By the end, Max and Nux too have taken up the boltcutter, chief tool and weapon of imprisoned women. The boltcutter transforms the length of chain on Nux into a critical addition to the towline pulling the War Rig from the mud. Nux literally turns the chains of his own toxic masculinity, which got him and Max into this in the first place, into a tool for freedom. After being held back by the chain in his attempt to kill Furiosa, Nux figures out what the women have long known–your weakness can also be your strength.