I went to see a talk by Colin Gibson,
the production designer of Mad Max: Fury Road, and one of the most mind-blowing
tidbits I learned was that when the Green Place turned sour, the matriarchal Vuvalini took their girls and fled, but they left all the boys behind. Those boys, left to die in the poisoned bog, became the Crow People we see walking on stilts:
Gibson also said they chose white paint for Immortan Joe’s war boys because
(and I quote) “fat white bastards killed the world.” The Vuvalini were
conceived as the opposite extreme to this, the opposite of the “fat
white bastards” - but their way and their culture is still a dead end, and their callous disregard for male children is no better than Joe’s callous disregard for female children.
This makes the ending of the film, where the wives and Furiosa take the Citadel in order to build a new society, even more important. Neither Immortan Joe nor the Vuvalini had the correct ideology, but the wives and Furiosa do. Thanks to their long journey in the Wasteland, they are placed in a position to fashion and rule a more idealised, peaceful society, one based on equality across race, class and gender.
Dag, the pregnant pacifist, took the seeds from the older, violent generation so she could build a new, peaceful one. Capable showed empathy and kindness towards Nux even though she had been abused by men her whole life, and will surely show the same empathy to the war boys and war pups left behind. Toast the Knowing, observant and intelligent and ready to lead, took the wheel from the dead tyrant at the end and eagerly helped raise up the oppressed classes at the Citadel. Cheedo the Fragile turned her fragility into her greatest strength, proving that gentleness is not weakness in this barbaric world.
Furiosa forged a relationship of complete respect and equality with Max that helped her overcome the trauma she suffered at the hands of men. She achieves catharsis by killing Joe and loving Max and the wives, emerging from it all ready to begin again, ready to leave the past behind and step into the future.
We see many different tribes and cultures in this film and are presented with many different methods for survival, but only one that is really worth fighting for. The love, trust, respect and equality that exists between a ragged band of strangers in a War Rig thus becomes the prototype for the new society that will rise from the ashes when the Citadel falls.