Imagine a world years in the future. You live in an enclosed society with other survivors of a cataclysmic disaster that contaminated most of the outside world. In your underground shelter, everyone is carefully monitored to maintain an orderly, safe and healthy environment. All must do their assigned work and follow strict rules. Life is monotonous and dull.
Your only hope of escape is the chance to win the lottery with the lucky few chosen to go to the one place left on earth that is free of contamination and is still habitable — a small tropical island where only a small population can exist. Everyone dreams of winning.
One day, your name is selected! Everyone looks at you with envy. You pack your bags and go to sleep that night, thinking about the next day when you take a trip to paradise.
That morning you find yourself coming awake with difficulty. Dimly, slowly, you become aware you are strapped to an operating table. You hear someone in the room say something about how the anesthesia is wearing off.
“We don’t want to run the risk of cutting him open like that. He might die of shock, and the donor is waiting for that healthy heart and lungs…”
In a rush of adrenaline that brings you fully awake, you realize there is no Island, and these people are about to harvest your organs. With the strength that comes from terror, you rip yourself free of the tubes and wires, and jump from the table to run.
You don’t get far, however. In the hallway, armed security guards pursue you, capture you and drag you back to the operating room…
This is the plot of a 2005 Hollywood movie called The Island. I watched it on the Sci Fi Channel last week. And I apologize if I am going to spoil things for you.
The protagonist of the movie, played by Ian McGregor, starts to question his existence, and eventually discovers he is a clone that has been created by a secret organization whose clients want an “insurance policy” against illness and death. The clones are kept in their secure environment, basically uneducated with only this post-apocalyptic reality drummed into their consciousness, until the client who paid for them needs to collect on their policy. Then the particular clone wins the lottery, and, well, you can guess the rest…
I am always amazed when Hollywood explores issues that point out our present culture of death. The really sad thing about this film, and others like it (as film critic Roger Ebert points out in his movie review) is that most of the creators don’t even see the relationship of the situation in their fictional tales to the reality of our current world.
Today we regularly employ utilitarian tactics such as in-vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, surrogate pregnancies, stem-cell research on embryos, and attempts at cloning human beings, not to mention abortion-on-demand.
One particularly poignant part of the movie The Island, for me, involves a female clone who is pregnant. (They refer to these women as breeders.) In a strange twist to our culture’s view of the disposable nature of unborn infants, here the mother is killed after the birth and the child given to a happy, adoptive couple.
Those of us who are praying for the rebirth in our society of a respect for the dignity of life as created by God in His image can see how the scenario is all too real, and the future is now.
Our nightmares have come true. Here’s hoping we wake up soon.