While scanning movies for my nightly entertainment, I chanced upon this chilling discovery about a film that left a stunning impact on my collegiate mind back then.
Soylent Green, that futuristic dystopian film about the connection between overpopulation and hunger, is set in the year 2022.
That’s this New Year, starting this month of January, the here and now.
Made in 1973, the science-fiction movie introduced so-called Soylent Green crackers to feed a hungry New York population suffering from poverty, unemployment and related social ills.
In that future tense, the population has swollen to 80 million in New York alone. People live in the streets and line up for their rations of water and Soylent Green.
Towards the end of this nightmarish futuristic fantasy, we learn that those mysterious, feed-all crackers had been made from euthanized human corpses, notably from the elderly.
Soylent Green was based on Harry Harrison’s novel, Make Room! Make Room! It starred Charlton Heston as the young, innocent cop who discovers the controlling power of big corporations in their attempt to control the economy as they offer a radical solution to hunger.
The film, directed by Richard Fleischer, also stars Leigh Taylor Young, Edward G. Robinson, Chuck Connors, among many others.
For all its relevance and chill effect, Soylent Green is worth revisiting this 2022.
Speaking of foreshadowing, I learned from Kim Atienza in his Tempo column, Matanglawin, that the sinking of the Titanic had been predicted in no uncertain terms by two authors of books previously.
The books, both fictional, described events that had uncanny similarities with the unfolding tragedy.
In 1886, W.T. Stead, a prominent spiritualist and investigative journalist, published a book called How The Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid-Atlantic.
The account, though fictional, tells the story of an unnamed ocean liner that sinks in the Atlantic.
In the story, the protagonist is a sailor named Thompson, who grows concerned over the lifeboat shortage on deck. Sure enough, the liner collides with a small sailing ship in a fog.
As the ocean liner sinks, women and children are given priority seating on the lifeboats, but chaos reigns and only 200 passengers and crew members of the original 700 people on board survive the disaster.
W.T. Stead ultimately lost his life on the Titanic.