Tuesday, March 22, 2011


What do you do when you realize that your whole life, your whole identity, has been a lie? This seemed to be one of the central themes of Moon, but it was a theme that the movie, to me, left unresolved. Obviously, the most immediate answer is to uncover the whole truth, to fight back against the force that had created those lies, and to escape from their influence to reveal the truth to others. As Moon proves, those struggles make a very compelling movie. However, as I watched, I couldn't help thinking about what would happen after the action ended. What happens after the immediate problems have been solved, and you have to go on living the rest of your (albeit short) life, your head full of false memories and emotions, considering the idea that your very existance is a copy, or a lie?

Did Sam do the other clones a favor by restoring a live-feed to Earth? On the one hand, the clones deserve to know the truth. They should not have to live out their short lives in isolation, supported by lies of a family and a future, but is there any actual benefit to knowing the objective truth of the situation? Although the clones of Sam lived a lonely and repetitive existance, they still lived to some extent: they had powerful memories, a friendship with Gerty, love for (and seemingly from) a family, and the expectation that, after his three year contract ends, he will return to normal life. Once the live-feed to Earth is restored, however, the Sams are left with nothing. Their lives, their memories, their expectations, all prove to be a lie, and once the 6th Sam has revealed the operation to the rest of the world, they also have no mission, no new goals, to fill this void. Would they be happier if they continued to live under the lies provided by Lunar Industries? Does happiness based on false perceptions count as actual happiness? Does expected happiness have anything to do with this dilemma? The 5th Sam seems to die with much greater contentment than the previous Sams, because he both knows the truth and knows that the 6th Sam has escaped and will attempt to "make things right," but the later Sams cannot get this sense of satisfaction. The dramatic discovery and escape plot can only occur once. Later Sams must take a more passive approach to accepting their existance.

The movie also leaves the fate of the other hundreds of unactivated clones unanswered, and I think this raises another important moral issue. What should happen to those clones? Should they be left "unactivated"? If they are destroyed, some might consider it to be murder. However, what life can they lead if they are awakened, all of them full of the same memories, love for the same woman, believing that they are, in fact, the same person?

Yet all of these questions might be moot, as the final lines of the movie suggest that many individuals on Earth doubt the 6th Sam's story. Anyone who saw the clone storage facility would be unable to doubt, and so one must wonder if Lunar Industries killed the 7th Sam and destroyed all the remaining clones (or just killed the 7th Sam and reestablished the block on live feed) in order to cover up their secret. In such a situation, did the 6th Sam do them a favor? Is it better to live a lie, or to not live at all?

Moon therefore did not end with a period for me, but with many question marks.


Post a Comment