Imagining futures driven by new technologies:5 science fiction movies

For some of us, myself included, one of the “opportunities”, so to speak, brought about by the pandemic, has been the time to watch more movies than in previous years - quite the paradox with movie theaters being closed-. I’ve enjoyed a lot of science fiction movies, a genre that imagines possible futures driven by technology; some catastrophic and others more optimistic (although, spoiler alert, science fiction tends to love chaos and dystopia). The genre usually depicts a futuristic or fantastic world where science and technology (sometimes fictitious) conflict with human nature and social organization.

Depending on how you define it, the genre can be categorized as old or new. In cinema, the start of science fiction tends to be marked by the French short film “Voyage dans la Lune” (1902) (you can see it here - it's 15 minutes long), or Voyage on the Moon by George Mélies. Since then, cinema has continued to evolve and has acted as a sort of time capsule that draws from reality and brings together the thoughts, dreams, fears and desires of mankind throughout the years

What’s most interesting is that, beyond entertainment, science fiction movies also provide us with scenarios that can help us reflect upon the kind of future world (or planet, given the state of space exploration) we want and how to get there.

Below is a list of 5 movies that depict a future shaped by disruptive technologies with drastic consequences on society, and a few words about the warnings and lessons they teach us.

  1. Metropolis (1927) - Germany