Dark City (1998)

by Afra Nariman

Dark City (1998)

Director: Alex Proyas

Stars: Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Kennifer Connelly, Richard O’Brien, Ian Richardson, Bruce Spence


Conceptually so rich and endlessly fascinating in its exploration of human themes, all executed through a captivating display of expert world-building, Dark City is constructed as a Kafka-esque sci-fi/noir story that attempts to define our humanity, and reveals the inner-linings of our hearts and minds. In its conclusion — outside of the film’s final statement that the meaning of human life is the beach (which I am not here to argue) — the film also asserts that what makes us human is not our minds, but our hearts. 

Dark City poses the question: 

“Are we more than the mere sum of our memories?”

In other words; are we defined by our past, by our mistakes, our previous decisions, etc.? The film rejects this position and illustrates that what makes us human is instead how we choose to react to our present circumstances, how we choose to be in this moment — not how we have been. In this sense, Dark City theoretically rejects the notion of determinism — whether it be intrinsic or from an unknown source outside of ourselves — and by doing this, essentially preserves the sentiment of free will. 


Rating: 5 out of 5.

View this Review on Letterboxd: https://boxd.it/3BQ7gB

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