Civic Imagination


Equilibrium is set in 2072 in Libria, a city state established by the survivors of World War III. “Equilibrium” is an action/thriller movie following John Preston (Bale), an enforcement officer in a futuristic world where a regime has decided to eliminate war by suppressing emotions using a certain type of drug. Books, art and music are strictly forbidden and "feeling" is a crime punishable by death. John Preston is a top-ranking government agent responsible for punishing those who resist these rules. When he misses a dose of Prozium (the drug that hinders emotion), Preston suddenly begins to experience emotions, which make him question his own morality and moderate his actions while attempting to remain undetected by the suspicious society in which he lives.
I am not usually a fan of action movies, which is funny because this is the first movie that popped up in my head when I read about this assignment. It was actually our philosophy teacher back in 11th grade, who made us watch this movie in the DVD room. He said it was “inspirational” and that it was worth skipping class for. I yawned and prepared myself for a long nap, but soon realized how right he was. The movie "Equilibrium" is pretty well known I guess. It has high ratings, and the fact that I still recall it up to this day, implies it was pretty inspirational. The movie not only contained fun entertaining fight scenes we all eagerly wait for, but had a very important emotional aspect behind it. Watching a movie about a grey society where people are denied access to their emotions made me feel sad. The world they lived in seemed so empty and quiet as well as depressing. People did not laugh and smile, but displayed poker faces all the time. People did not listen to music or enjoy art, because they could not “feel it” or even create it. Everything beautiful needs emotion, and the people in this society did not have it. This shows us how important human emotions are for establishing art; for creating and imagining. In this world, everyone was the same. Clones, wandering around aimlessly, eating working and sleeping. True it was a world where jealousy hatred and violence were absent. But it was also such an empty lifeless one that made me realize how blessed we are as humans, to experience feelings and emotions. To love our partners, to feel happy when we win something, to care about others, and to protect close friends. To dance to music, to draw beautiful paintings when we're happy, to scribble crazy expressions of art when we're mad, and to work harder when we feel competitive. It showed me how boring a world where everyone was the same would be. How important it is to be different and unique, and how much we should value each other's differences

It is true that emotions are dangerous. Emotions really have two sides. On one side we have joy, happiness, laughter, sympathy, sorrow, and so on. On the other side we have anger, fear, bitterness, hatred, envy, and jealousy. But as a quote I once heard said, “:it is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply”. Also a regime in the movie believed that emotions were bad and that removing them completely would be the best solution. But a quote once mentioned by Hannabil explains it well. "Human emotions are a gift. But cruelty is a gift humanity has given itself." I think this movie inspires us to control our emotions. To use them for good, and to appreciate them and value them. It also makes us aware of how upper powers are always trying to control the lower minorities, and how people stood up together in the end and were capable of destroying this regime. Keeping in mind that it all began with one person. So another lesson learned is that; each and every one of us can really make a difference. Everything successful begins small. So to all the communities out there, with unequal distributions of power, corruption, and manipulation, I believe they can do this, even if they are the minority. I haven't shared this story with anyone, but have done it now.

emotions feelings, human expressions, humanity, love, power manipulation, control, perfection, war, peace

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