Friday, September 17, 2004

Brazil (1985)

is a movie that I have heard of for years but have never seen (mostly because it came out when I was in High School). I watched it a few days ago and I was struck by a couple of things.

First, the notion of technology being the most dehumanizing challenge of the future seems hollow after 9-11. Evil is the enduring human problem. Brazil presents a world where "the system" is the enemy but people are trapped in and by the the system and only partially culpable for the evil they perpetuate. 9-11 and Beslan, indeed Islamo-fascist terrorism world wide, reminds us that technology is only a tool. It may shape our choices but the choice to stab a child or fly a plane into a building is something that technology does not cause. In this way the modern world, or post-modern world, has been cast backward, or reminded of the ancient struggle between good and evil as the central issue of humanity. The True, the Good, and the Beautiful have been rediscovered as falsehood, evil and horror have shattered our sophisticated denial of absolutes.

Second, Brazil remains a film of powerful images that illustrate that technology does not necessarily lead to a 'better' world. Technology that is used wisely and morally may benefit mankind but that assumes such things as Wisdom and Morality exist. Still Brazil remains a disturbing reminder of the pitfalls of 'progress'.

I found the scenes regarding plastic surgery to be particularly profound and disturbing. These scenes were the most prophetic.

Another scene deftly illustrates what a command and control culture looks like.

My Rating: rentable

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