Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Island

The scene is set. The world has been almost completely destroyed through all kinds of contaminants and you are one of several thousand survivors. Every now and again more survivors are found and brought to this facility where you are. Where do they keep on finding these new survivors? Why are they not contaminated?
The movie The Island gives us a glimpse of the future if we indeed do allow the cloning of human beings to continue.
Michael Bay, the director of the movie has this to say:
"Lots of sci-fi movies are much ado about nothing. What I liked about [The Island] is that it's a universal thing: we all want to live longer. But how selfish would you be to achieve that? You could get a liver, a heart, kidneys, essential things. But I wanted to show people going for things that were just so crass, like fresh skin for a face-lift. For some woman who doesn't want to go through the pain of childbirth and have stretch marks, why not have your clone birth for you? How disgusting is that?" (
In this facility where all these survivors live, a lottery is run and the winner gets to leave this place to go to The Island, the last inhabitable place on the planet that is not contaminated. What is great for the survivors is that everyone will at some stage win the lottery. That means everyone gets to leave this clinical type facility to go to The Island.
This facility is run in a very tyranical way where survivors are constantly monitored by electronic means in order to determine what they should eat, how much exercise is needed and even how close men and women may stand to each other. Questioning the system is not allowed and this can only mean that you need psychological help.
One of the people in this facility, Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor), stumbles upon a secret that he was not supposed to uncover. The Island is no physical place that lottery winners retire to: it is death! To Lincoln's great dismay, his close friend, Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson), is the next winner of the lottery. It is here that the action in the movie starts. Lincoln and Jordan needs to escape, which is exactly what they do. After escaping they find out that they are not real people! They are simply clones. Clones of real people! They are no more than insurance policies for the rich and famous. They have been created to provide replacement parts (new skin, livers, hearts, etc) for real people when the original person needs these parts to survive longer. These clones simply live to be harvested. They are simply products!
The Island certainly is not just another sci-fi movie! It has a point to make! It points to the sanctity of human life. This is a very positive point for Christians and certainly can become a talking point around the watering hole at our various places of employment. Surely cloning of human life will end up becoming the oppression of human life! This is clearly shown in The Island. Human beings are not products, no matter how we think they come to existence. A brilliant scientist cannot give life, only God can. So, clone or not, humans need to be treated with great respect.
If not pro-Christian, this movie is at least sympathetic to the Christian stance of the sanctity of life. In a scene where the creators of the clones are trying their utmost to destroy these two clones that have escaped, Lincoln and Jordan fall from a very high building, just to be caught by a net close to the ground. The net was right next to a black worker who, after seeing what happened pulls them out and says, "Jesus must love you!"
Since cloning is the big rage in the world, this movie is indeed a timely movie to show what the results of this type of science would be.
I have read two other Christian reviews of The Island. One at Crosswalk and the other at Christian Answers. I must say, I find the one at Crosswalk a bit superficial whereas Christian Answers really dug into the different nuances of the film to find almost hidden meanings to explain the film. However, it would be good to read both.
As for me, it was an enjoyable movie that also makes a point. Too many movies that come out of Hollywood these days preach the usual liberal drivel that we see too often in the political and academic domains. It is good that there is now at least one other movie that has a more conservative perspective of a subject that should be dear to our hearts in these advanced scientific days.
Just thinking...

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