The Wicker Man / Burning Man / Phoenix Rising Decoded

Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives on the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. A conservative Christian, the policeman observes the residents’ frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals, particularly the temptations of Willow (Britt Ekland), daughter of the island magistrate, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). The more Sergeant Howie learns about the islanders’ strange practices, the closer he gets to tracking down the missing child.

Release date: August 7, 1974 (USA)

The Burning Man Festival: Burning Man is a week-long large-scale desert campout focused on “community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance” held annually in the western United States. True to its name and roots, the festival culminates each year with the ritual burning of a human effigy, which has in recent years grown to over forty feet. Constructed and erected on-site by event participants, and positioned in the desert so that the sun rises behind it, the Burning Man effigy is an iconic reminder to keep the creative “fires” burning within long after the event has come to a close.

“And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” Leviticus 18:21