Standing Still at the Tipping Points

Klaatu's transformation, a departure from the themes and ideas expressed in the original, highlights an essential element of the human dynamic. On the one hand, we have the 1951 film: a dark, silver-lined examination of the human tendency to violence and selfishness, a call to recognize that tendency, and a plea to transform ourselves through that recognition. It is a reminder that our fallen human nature is profoundly self-destructive, and that we must often use any means necessary—even fear of punishment—to overcome such dangerous inclinations.

The remake, on the other hand, while acknowledging the truth and eternal relevance of our brokenness, chooses to focus on an aspect of our lives that is just as true, and just as essential: our God-given capacity to rise above our fallen humanity. In a world where sin and suffering are omnipresent and all too real, we can ill-afford to lose sight of the beauty and redemptive power found in these "better angels of our nature."

4/7/2011 4:00:00 AM
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  • Joseph Susanka
    About Joseph Susanka
    Joseph Susanka has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since his graduation from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. He blogs at Crisis Magazine, where he also contributes feature articles on a variety of topics.
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