Metropolis – A look Into A Destructive Future

In the movie Metropolis (Fritz Lang. 1927), we see a dystopian future which takes place in the year 2026. The society is very similar to how we have our current modern day society with our separation of social classes, that being the working class and the high class people. Fritz depicts his idea of the future as one where the middle classes workers must work 10-hour shifts in very bad working conditions in order to keep the metropolis’s boilers from overheating and causing the destruction of the lower classes’ homes. There is a strong sense of physical and psychical oppression that the working class has been subjected to. Physically, there is a gate that literally separates the city of workers underground from the metropolis above ground where the upperclassmen live (2:02:00-2:05:00). Psychologically, we see that during the beginning of the movie the workers are like slaves and walk as if they are imprisoned there. Shift changes are like clockwork and happen without a hitch. As well as that, we also come across a certain phrase multiple times in the movie: “The mediator between brain and hands must be the heart!” (0:03:02) as the epigram of the movie. There was a time in the movie where we see a shift of workers leave to go into the catacombs under the factory where they worked to hear of a lady who spoke to them about freeing their mind from this slavery. (Prior to, the workers who would pass out/faint from being overworked were never cared for by any of the other workers). Maria– one of the protagonists in the story tells the workers that she is looking for a mediator. Not knowing that Josephat (the main character) is the one destined for her. At the same time, Josephat’s father is eavesdropping on the meeting with his inventor who plans on creating a “machine-man”. This is where we first see what the director has depicted as an artificial intelligent robot. This is very similar to a modern day movie “Ex Machina (Alex Garland. 2014)” which follows the premise that an artificially intelligent robot has rebelled against humans and has used manipulation to do it. This situation also happens in Metropolis as well, when the inventor’s robot manipulates the workers in order to destroy the subsystem that powers the city above. In the end of the movie we see that the mediator (Josephat) joins his father’s hands and one of the workers to signify that he accepts that they are just more than workers, but people, people who have emotions and limits (2:25:00-End).

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