Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review of "The Final Cut"

"The Final Cut" was an interesting sci-fi type film, which had implications to society, the greater good, and privacy.

The Zoe implant was a kind of memory system implanted at birth (or later) that videoed a person's life. At the end of life, a person's family would have a "cutter" cut out any extraneous or unwanted memories to present at a 'memorial service".

As this was an expensive "investment" in one's future, not everyone could afford such a "blessing". Those that had the money could afford to control what and how they were remembered. The problem was when a family wanted to "cut out " certain inappropriate behavior of the "remembered video", or when one happened upon their Zoe and got the memories, while still alive. The Zoe was not to be "inspected", except after one's death, and then was "cut" at the discretion of one's family. It was a form of "heritage", I suppose.

At the beginning of the movie, Allan, "the cutter" had had an experience that had impacted his memory such that he became "a cutter". As a boy, he had visited another city and met Louis, who went to investigate an old barn, where Allan proceeded to walk across an old plank and encouraged the other boy to follow.  Louis fell to "his death". Allan found Louis, in what he remembered as "a pool of blood". Allan, had felt responsible for Louis' "death", until the day his memory was retrieved,  and he discovered that "the pool of blood"' was only a can of paint that spilt nearby.

Two situations were illustrative of the problems of "solving  bad behaviors" by "cutting". Isabel wasn't allowed to remember her father's abuse at her father's "cutting". Zoe prevented the "victim" a way to affirm their own sense of reality and gain their respect and dignity.

The other situation was when a woman found her "memories"  before her death, and re-lived those private moments of a past romance. She was rightly outraged at the invasion of privacy.

The moral character that kept warning Alan of the injustice of what he was doing got "his justice" in the end, when Alan was killed and the moral character, retrieved the Zoe implant and got to inspect the "cut" information  from other's lives. These memories were something that could reveal crimes against society, but at what costs?.

I thought the film's re-interpretation of "eternal life" as one's "memory" was an interesting one. And I thought that the message of false guilt and shame that drives people to "atone" for their "sin" was also insightful. And I thought that the aspect of a "moral policemen" whether to justify by "cutting" or to judge by "investigating" another life were two sides of  extremist views.

But, justice and forgiveness was at the forefront of the film's message. Alan could not forgive himself and found himself driven to help others deny their failings by becoming a "cutter". But, what Allan did, in effect, was to further enable the abusor, and deny the victim, justice.

The invasion of privacy is always of importance to free societies where one's feeling and sense of "independence" is an important value. Zoe, in this sense, was like Big Brother. But, while Zoe helped to further "family image",  at the expense of societal norms, Big Brother bans independence from government in personal matters.

Image and reality were the intermingled aspects of this film. Was the memory (image) real? It was, and wasn't.

In Allan's case, he thought his guilt was real, but was imaginary. Myth was an excrusiating "reality" that needed dismantling by reality.

In the case of the little girl and her father, the "reality" and Image was a created one. Myth doesn' t serve anyone's interests in this situation.

So, it seems that myth in real situations can hinder real realities in the real world.

No comments: