The Island (2005)

The Island (2005) is set in a dystopian future, and that future… is 2019! Fortunately, things have not gone like The Island predicted back in 2005: the two main characters – Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson) – live in an isolated compound, in a community governed by strict rules, working in a facility, basically, as slaves. 

The community believes that the outer world has become too contaminated and that there is only one place that is still contagion-free which is called The Island

The community only consolation – and hope – is a regular lottery that is held once a week that allows the winner to leave the compound and move to the Island.

But not everything is like what the community believes. The outside world is not as contaminated as people are told – why, then, they are kept inside and forced to believe that there is no other place to go or survive?

And what about the lottery? The main character, Lincoln, will discover that this is another lie… But why are they taking people outside with this system? Who lives outside the facility, and… who lives inside? 

Once they discovered the first lie, the character will set on a path that will lead them to discover the truth about the facility and the world outside, and you to ask yourself some questions…

Despite it being an entertaining and relevant film, The Island was a box office flop. This wasn’t due to the poor quality of the film – the film’s little box office’s success was due to poor publicity – the target audience wasn’t aware that the film was being released. A lot of science fiction fans, in fact, haven’t ever heard about this film. This is one reason more to reclaim this now old summer film for an enjoyable couple of hours.

Why to watch this film?

The film is an entertaining science fiction thriller, but at the same time, it evokes some questions: what does it mean to be human? How far can the government and the medical professionals go for the improvement of public health? In the film there are human bodies created without human feelings – would you consider them human? Are emotions the cardinal factor that distinguishes a human being from every other creature? Are feelings what makes a human body a human being? These are the issues the characters have to face other than their adventures, and they make you ask these same questions.

For the questions the film raises, it could also be used for educational purposes: it stimulates a critical way of thinking about the current and future state of the science: what is bad or good research behavior? What scientific communities will look like in the future? Even though 2019 has just gone by, these are still questions that the film stimulates.