These Films are not about Pandemics: They are about Finding Ways to Triumph in the Face of Great Adversity
Stories from Past Crises can Reveal New Insights as we Encounter huge Challenges
The reality is sinking in, slowly, that the future is truly unknowable and that big changes and even bigger challenges are looming. Twin shocks of a health emergency and a financial crisis, intertwined and yet with separate trajectories, are still to be resolved in our near future.
And then there’s the myriad of other challenges that were already acute, such as global warming and the “other” epidemic; corruption and greed. It’s almost too much to face up to, and no one can be blamed for wanting to just turn away.
Too much has been glossed over. After the 2008 crisis we all just wanted to put that ugly mess behind us and get on with our lives. I suppose the criminals that netted billions as a “reward” for almost destroying the entire global economy were also eager to just move on.
All that as it may be, perhaps, a way to begin the process of regaining our courage and looking into the future with some kind of hope, or at least a deeper understanding of the human dilemma and historical precedents, might be to enjoy films about small moments of triumph before great adversity. Here are a few recent options:
The Big Short
Barely 12 years ago, the financial collapse and ensuing “Great Recession” was a nightmare scenario. The aftermath of that debacle is also a contributor to the economic dangers we see before us in 2020. This film, likely the best based on that era, highlights how outsiders and misfits were able to prosper, even as they witnessed the corruption, failure and systemic injustice that brought the world to the brink of total economic chaos.
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt.
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
For a bird’s-eye overview and scientific perspective – Athropocene is a film for those ready to think deeply on how, once beyond the immediate danger, we would want to emerge into a new era as a species. A positive reaction to the current crisis, worldwide, has been a series of ideas and proposals that show a willingness to confront the challenges from an entirely new perspective. Maybe new leadership can mean starting over and making a pledge to try a new approach to literally everything.
‘The film follows the research of an international body of scientists, the Anthropocene Working Group who, after nearly 10 years of research, argue that the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-twentieth century as a result of profound and lasting human changes to the Earth.”
Facing death constantly is a reality in war times. This story is a testament to resilience and survival against all odds.
Angelina Jolie directs this adaptation from Laura Hillenbrand’s popular book, “Unbroken” stars Jack O’Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Alex Russell, Miyavi and Finn Wittrock
This Depression era feel-good story takes on new meaning as we see a “Great Depression II” potentially looming. Looking for strength and courage facing forces that threaten our survival, and coming out at the end in a better place, that’s a synopsis and blueprint we can all benefit from observing, even if it’s packaged as a Hollywood vehicle. Russel Crowe at his best. Maybe worth a second look.
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