The purpose of any film is to create a myth for its time. While certain movies, such as Star Wars, do this on their own, their are others, such as the Coen Brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou? that retell ancient myths, in this case, Homer’s Odyssey, in a modern context.
This adaption has taken place all throughout history, most notably by the Romans with Greek myths. While Gods and mythological characters were renamed and given additional purposes, they were also adapted to the new way of life and societal ideals that made up the Roman civilization. They studied the beliefs of the Greeks, but ultimately, they decided that the general public wouldn’t understand the myths if they didn’t specifically apply to their own society.
The Coen brothers did this by replacing the mythological creatures of The Odyssey with human characters that would have been apparent in one of the most historic eras of the past century, the Great Depression.