Metropolis, a 1927 film by Fritz Lang, simply blew blew me away. Depicting a futuristic society, in the NOW not-so-far-away year of 2027, Metropolis portraits the division between “working class” and “company leadership.” A very dramatic window into the struggles between both groups of humans, this silent film is brilliant!
The world is a “company” in which everyone works for the same “guy.” The “guy,” a mastermind, doesn’t use his heart in decision-making and leadership. Likewise, the manual “labourers,” do not use theirs. It takes the mastermind’s son to fall in love with a worker to mediate the two classes.
The son, to me, represents the pure capitalist. Earning money is his objective. But he must earn it purely. Kindly. By walking peacefully on this Earth. By being the real man. The good human being.
And in a time when when The President and CEO of UPMC is chastised for earning more than those whom he manages, I think the film’s message must be absorbed.
“The mediator between head and hands must be the heart.”
This is not suggesting to make everyone in the company equal. If the President and CEO of UPMC doesn’t make more money and everyone is the same, then who runs the company? The film’s message is rather suggesting that a heart must be used in decision-making. And the company, aka the world, will be a lovelier place. How smart.
In addition to the awesome message, I was blown away by the acting. The manner in which the bodies moved to tell a story in a film without verbal words has my brain dancing in pirouettes. My favourite scene features amazing moves that I will incorporate into my yoga practice. I had no idea that women were permitted to move in such a way, on film, in the 1920s. And the facial expressions! The music! Oh! It was mesmerising, like watching a beautiful opera. And from a technology perspective, the film features computers and a really cool forecast of “Face Time.” So amazing.
My mouth is pretty much still hanging to the ground. I will be seeing this film again in the very foreseeable future. Netflix subscribers, it’s available on streaming! And if you have any interest in the division of class in organisation, totally see it. You will be blown away, too.