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SnowPiercer is a move with a great production reflecting on our current social dilemmas. It is a movie about social location, social inequality and social justice.

Today is Labour day that we recognize the importance of the labour movement in promoting social justice and equality. I think this movie offers us alternative possibilities to end the current social injustice and inequality.

We are all born into per-existing places in society based on our race, age, intellect, culture and ethnicity, class, sexuality and (dis) ability. The social locations of each individual are not decided by individuals but by structural systems established for centuries. The notion of social location is like the ‘cast system’. It is the subtle disguised version of the cast system. Remember! the cast system used to be an acceptable system in old empires such as Rome, Persia, and also it is currently, somewhat, practiced in India.

The movie, Snowpiercer, illustrates the destructive impact of social locations on people’s life very vividly. It also reveals the invisible long- lasting collaboration between the leaders of oppositions (shoes and heads). It shows how the leaders of oppositions plan and decide for citizens; when and how citizens should be treated, when and how the population needs to be reduced or increased and so forth.  The sad part is that the both leaders (shoes and heads) create and plan wars among citizens. The leaders of shoes and heads work for the maintenance of the social/ power structure and inequality. Their mission is to maintain the power!

Interestingly enough, as the leaders of shoes and heads are aged, they realize that to maintain the social (dis) order and inequality, they need to find a replacement who is committed to the money- making machine, who has greed for power and who maintains the statues quo. Who would they pass the torch onto?  Of course, a person  from the middle class is chosen; a person who has seen and experienced poverty and who has shown enough intellects to climb up the ladder of power.

The dialogue between the leader of heads and the new leader is the best part of the movie.  In that dialogue, the new leader discovers deceits, lies, and games of killing that lead to people’s suffering.

The new realizations give him courage and new set of responsibilities. He becomes the leader of a new movement.  A movement to end the normalized social locations/social inequality/social injustice. He has a dream! a vision and hope for people.  His new movement aims to flatten social hierarchies and all its associated practices. His actions and intentions are to bring back freedom, liberty and justice to people. How? There is no more choices left but to stop the train, the machine, and the social power structure. And that is how the new life is promised; a life in harmony with nature and other species…

I enjoyed the movie very much.  Like many, I yearn for the return of equality and social justice to people’s life.  Who knows maybe by 2031, we will have ended all man-made wars. Who knows maybe by 2031, we will have become more conscious of the impact of what we do to one another. Who knows maybe by 2031, we will have put a stop into any forms of social inequality, social hierarchy and social injustice!

Happy Labour Day!

Happy Possibilities!

Tahereh Barati

 

 

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