Why ‘Leave The World Behind’ Is The Wake Up Call We Need

Could we rely on each other if we no longer had media?

Leave The World Behind has become the top trending movie on Netflix as the flick challenges one’s sense of morals and survival instincts. The project sets the scenario of a potential cyber attack that causes the city to go into a mass frenzy.

X (formerly known as Twitter) was on fire after this release with questions that needed answers. While Leave The World Behind was executively produced by Michelle and Barack Obama, fans speculated about some of the topics that played on the theme of politics, desensitization in television, migration patterns, technology issues, and racism. 

Higher Ground Production balanced thrill and drama to the point of chills and was executed perfectly. However, this film poses a question that challenges the ideology of how we might react during a major crisis. Will we lean and depend on one another? Do things have to be divisive, or can we work together? Let’s dive into the themes that showcase art’s imitations of life.

Media Desensitization

There’s no denying that symbolism was layered heavily in the film, and one of the main focal points hinted at the concept that individuals rely on technology to do particularly everything, even to the point of self-driving cars. The film starts with Amanda, played by Julia Roberts, booking a mini weekend vacation for her family to escape the city. Soon after, Amanda’s daughter Rose consistently talked about her ability to binge her new favorite nostalgic TV sitcom, Friends, a show many may categorize as the embodiment of Americans before technology and where humans were overall more friendly. 

Later on in the film, the character Ruth effortlessly explains her analysis of the show Friends by stating that the show should be viewed as a nostalgic sitcom that constitutes a time that never truly existed to begin with. In contrast, her brother Archie is more concerned with his cell reception, inappropriate hypersexual behavior, and sex addictions. Whereas, Rose symbolizes a generation untouched by politics, prejudice, and ego, whose sole concern was a television show that showcased Americans being kinder to one another for her to be able to cope with the chaos around her. 

Clay mentioned earlier in the film his perspective on media desensitization when referring to one of his former student’s books, which expounds on the idea that media serves as an escape and a reflection. Rose’s escapism in TV sitcoms completely deludes her into missing the events that will affect those around her. The film makes you ponder the question: Are we prepared for anything? This may serve as a clear sign of the importance of keeping memorabilia, backup flash drives, and outlets that will keep us from being so technology-reliant.

Racism Will Keep Us Divided

The first incident that alarmed Amanda and her family was their very close encounter of witnessing an oil ship crash on the shore during their family outing at the beach. A ship that was labeled The White Lion, which happens to be the name of the first ship that brought the first African slaves to Virginia in 1619. While undergoing a power outage and a potential cyber attack, her family received an unexpected knock from the owners of the rental residency, who were in the city during the blackout and decided to come home. Though the transaction occurred online, Amanda questioned the validity of George and his daughter Ruth’s ownership of the rental estate. 

Naturally, we would have to assume that Amanda’s prejudice stepped in when she inquired if they could afford such an expressive home based on their race. Amanda viewed their surprise arrival as some sort of con or scam, causing her to be reluctant to let them sleep in the house even after receiving her deposit by insinuating that George may have predatory impulses toward their sleeping daughter. On the other hand, Clay seems more open and trusting towards the owners as Amanda hesitates on trusting Clay’s faith in others- representing an internal battle that may exist within the modern and older generations of white America. 

As Ruth and Amanda finally put their differences aside, they witness a massive explosion as gunfire blazes within the city that could consist of foreign or internal wars emerging. Could Leave The World Behind be a symbolic example of how putting aside one’s differences can ensure high survival rates for one another? 

Separating Opinion From Facts

Moreover, we must become knowledgeable about the events that affect the world around us enough to be able to discard the disinformation that is spread on the internet. Former President Obama once stated in his speech at Stanford, “Understand it is not necessary to believe the information to weaken democratic institutions, but you just have to flood the country’s public square with enough raw sewage, use that to raise enough questions, spread as much dirt, plant enough conspiracy theorizing, then citizens no longer know what to believe. Once they lose trust in their leaders, mainstream media, in political institutions. In the possibility of truth, the game is won.” Today’s society relying  solely on the internet to define any answer instead of learning and doing proper research can be a testament to Former CIA Director William Casey’s sentiments that state, “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” 

We must face a reality check that we are connected and cannot operate as a divided country to sustain the future generation of leaders. A takeaway that we can gain from Leave The World Behind is that everyone needs to strive to be kinder to one another to help each other cope with today’s society.

About Amber: Amber Little is a writer, fashionista, and digital content creator. She has used her Journalism degree from Georgia State University to educate others on the spiritual aspect of Astrology and beauty. Her overall goal is to show others that we are all connected through spirituality and that we are individually made special.

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