Today, my perceptions of the future have changed drastically with recent scientific surveys from U.S. and U.N. climate change research concluding we have passed the point of no return. Climate change is an indisputable and irreversible fact. These realities can render optimistic cli-fi writing a bit naïve. Still we must survive with hope. A case in point...
Ten years ago I wrote a cli-fi filmscript set in the near future. At that time, global warming, pollution, and energy depletion spiraled and a spate of disaster/dystopian films appeared on the scene and began raking in considerable profits for the culture industry.
My thoughts on the lure of disaster were validated by Walter Benjamin in a much earlier work, “The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction (1936).” Here, Benjamin wrote that the culture industry’s penchant for creating dystopian and disaster films provides proof that “…[society’s] self-alienation has reached such a degree that it can experience its own destruction as an aesthetic pleasure.”
I began to contemplate a film story that would stand in contrast to the “What’s the use?” disaster litany of the culture industry and would foster “…the development of a credible, engaging feature-length film that depicts the overthrow of a dystopian, corporate-driven society by wilderness rebels an egalitarian, renewable, cyber-ingenious, multi-species society that reinhabits the corporate wastelands of the planet. The rebels, of course, emerge victorious, and the planet is theirs to renew.
Today, this scenario seems incredible. Where do we go from here?