New Movie "The Road" Explores Fragility of Human Society Now

Viggo Mortensen as The Man in "The Road"

This is from imdb:
A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the southern coast, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. Nothing seems alive. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food--and each other. 
Written by Anonymous

Plot Synopsis:

The world is in ruins after an apocalyptic event that is never described. A father and his son are walking south in an attempt to escape the increasingly cold...

There is a new movie close to release that shows the fragility of human, especially, American society in this era of global climate change. It was ready a few months ago, evidently, but its not been released.

The reviews are generally good, many think the film will be a contender for an Oscar. From the reviews, for example, this one on the BBC, it seems like it may be an extremely thought provoking and disturbing film.

Historical note: Its not clear what has caused the disaster, perhaps it was caused by volcanism or a massive amount of human warfare elsewhere. (Eurasia?) But, does it matter? Whenever the environment changes faster than humans or other species can adjust, there are mass-extinctions of the less adaptive species on Earth. Populations plummet. And cannibalism has been recorded.

The Road seems to accurately depict a mass extinction event in all its glory. Earth resembles the Earth seen in recent episodes of Battlestar Galactica, cold cloudy, and nearly lifeless. But, as it is the near future, some humans, born right before the events, still cling to life. Barely.  Its basically a ugly, barbaric situation, set along the cracked and broken wreckage of American highways and byways in a near and terrible future.

Do these things ever happen? Ask your archaeologist and paleobiologist friends.

(They do.)

Here is an excerpt from "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy:

Tags: Cannibalism, Climate change, Emigration, films, housing, immigration, suburbia, The Road, travel (all tags)



Re: New Movie "The Road"

The screenplay was adapted from the Cormac McCarthy novel.  

Catastrophic failures of society are always multi-faceted and cascading, and necessarily involve the degradation of the environment.  Jared Diamond's book Collapse does an excellent job of identifying the key elements of societal failure in both ancient and modern settings.  

Should we be concerned?  Of course.  We're surrounded by warnings that we ignore at our peril.  Aggressively and immediately addressing climate change and sustainability is critical to our survival, particularly as globalization increases.

Per your poll:  while the fossil record documents the earth's four billion year plus history of environmental conditions, periodic natural disasters, and the adaptation of living organisms to same, it tells us little about the effects of man on the environment.  Humans are still but a footnote in the tome that is the fossil record.  I'm an archaeologist, and I can tell you we generally don't "do" fossils; they're the purview of paleontologists.  

The catastrophe depicted in both the novel and the pending film are strongly suggested to be the result of human action (or inaction), not mere natural disaster (i.e. the dinosaurs didn't cause their own demise).  To understand what events might lead to the scenario in The Road, one would study the Archaeological Record, not the fossil record.

by fogiv 2009-03-12 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Cormac McCarthy!

No doubt.  McCarthy is a national treasure.  Blood Meridian is a breathtaking bit of prose, almost certainly his best ever.

by fogiv 2009-03-13 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Blood Meridian

Probably.  I started with Outer Dark

by fogiv 2009-03-14 06:15PM | 0 recs


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