I watched Kurt Wimmer’s Equilibrium over the weekend. The movie came out in 2003 and is probably something I would have passed up had Netflix not suggested it. Equilibrium’s plot picks up after a Third World War that nearly annihilated human existence and their resolve to end all future wars resulted in a an absolutely terrifying society in which mankind’s ability to feel (art, song, love, etc.) was outlawed:
In the first years of the 21st century, a third World War broke out. Those of us who survived knew mankind could never survive a fourth; that our own volatile natures could simply no longer be risked. So we have created a new arm of the law: The Grammaton Cleric, whose sole task it is to seek out and eradicate the true source of man’s inhumanity to man – his ability to feel.
To prevent humans from “feeling” the powers that be (the Tetragammon), set up a judicial system made up of Grammaton Clerics who raided “art parties” and either incarcerated or killed offenders. Humans were able to cope with their desire to “feel” by taking a daily injection of a drug designed to block the sensors in the brain that triggered emotional responses. Rebels, naturally, stopped taking the drug so that they could “feel” once again.
Within the first 15 minutes of the movie, I was petrified with a mixture of anger, suspense, and fright at the thought of losing my ability to appreciate beauty in design and typography, express my emotions through worship & song, or let my wife know how much I love her through physical contact. This is what identifies us as being made in the image of God. The ability to create. The ability to take colors and spare wood, shape them into form and function, painted with design and express ourselves through vivid patterns and textures.
The movie also brought to light that with love, you have war. With freedom, you have fear. All the emotions that drive us to live with and appreciate each other, can also be perverted to destroy and separate us. We have the ability to compromise and sacrifice our desires (a.k.a. being a servant) in order to live peacefully with each other and ultimately conform ourselves to the image of Christ.
I didn’t expect to get this much spiritual insight from a sci-fi!