Saturday, February 26, 2011

Memory & Empathy in Blade Runner

Amid the multiple themes present in Blade Runner, from the environmental to the corporations, I find the concepts of memory and empathy to be the most interesting. Here is a world where the "fake" humans are more human that the actual humans. Why is it that empathy has become outdated almost in this world of 2019? By implanting doubt in the viewer's mind about whether or not Deckard is human himself, brings to light the fact that humans are losing their humanity in this new corporate world.

Rachel is so confident that her memories are her own that the news they were made up, implanted is almost hard to even believe. Our lives are completely made up by the memories we store and cherish, and for most people they are valuable beyond anything else. When a person loses their memory in an accident, for example, they almost lose their entire identity and become a completely different person. While it is true, as the film implies, that empathy is at the heart of a person's humanity, I feel that memories also play an enormous role in determining a person's identity and their "humanity".

1 comment:

  1. I love the point you bring up about empathy being outdated in this world of 2019. It seems that in many futuristic movies made before the new millennium, anything after 2000 was predicted to be super advanced. Why not advance a few hundred years more, the film was only created in the 80s, did Scott really think that in 30 years things would change so drastically? Furthermore, I believe that memories are definitely a huge part of someone’s identity. I think we are able to empathize with other humans based on our past experiences, derived from our memories.