There are a lot of great people out there in the world. People that strive to better themselves every day, that endeavour to make a difference in their community, that dare to dream of a better tomorrow and then act on their aspirations. They give me hope that humanity will prevail.
But I’m also reminded (too often for my liking) of how ugly we can be as a species. History is littered with examples of man’s inhumanity to man, of his ingenuity to inflict pain and suffering, and of his indifference towards the misfortunes of others. These give me pause that humankind will ever mature, let alone survive.
So, whenever I am on the fence about which way the wind is blowing, I listen to one of the following Dystopian Society movies to cheer me up.
5. The handmaid’s tale This movie knocked my socks off. I went in sight unseen, expecting some Jane Austen type chick flick storyline. Even the DVD cover screams “movie of the week”, about a younger woman coming in between a man and his wife. And she does, but not in the way you might think. The premise of this dystopian tale is too plausible for it’s own good.
4. Blade runner This movie needs no introduction. For the few lucky ones that still haven’t seen this visionary film, your biggest dilemma will be to choose among the plethora of versions that have been issued. I’ve seen a few and in the end, it just doesn’t matter. It’s a great story from the mind of Philip K. Dick about one of the big questions : what does it mean to be human?
3. Soylent green Now this fraked up story demonstrates what it means to be inhuman. I would hold off on the snacks while watching this police procedural set in an overpopulated future. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this ’70s sci-fi classic starring Charlton Heston and Edward G. Robinson (his last role), so I don’t know how well it holds up, but the ending will stay with you forever.
2. THX 1138 George Lucas’ first foray in movies. This adaptation of a short he made in university is visually striking and highly original. The relationships at the core of this film underline the necessity to make meaningful connections in our lives. Without them, we are but empty shells, no different than the cool chrome robots that pursue Robert Duvall to the surface of the Earth.
1. Metropolis Fritz Lang was a visionary. His depiction of the inner workings of this Metropolis through the eyes of an innocent are simply breathtaking. But what seals the deal are the amazing expressionist sets, especially the distinct contrast between the Utopian city above ground and the Dystopian underground dwelling of the workers. I know, it’s a black and white silent movie from Germany, but get over your phobia of old foreign films and treat yourself to this visual feast.
Honorable mention : Logan’s run
P.S. : If you like my selection of movies about dystopian societies, make sure you check out my Top 5 Totalitarianism Movies.