2016 was tough. Donald Trump ruined our dreams for a liberal female president, Syrian Boy showed just how bloody the war in Syria is, our love-hate relationship with social media isn’t getting any better.
Closer to home, jobs don’t pay graduates as much as they used to and 20-somethings aren’t getting as much sex as those born in the 1960s. To top it all off, the hot new trend now is to hate on millennials.
Hoping for the best in 2017 isn’t going to be enough. We have to prepare for the worst. And what better way than through the joy and art of cinema?
Here are five movies to prepare for the rollercoaster that is 2017:
1. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Rotten Tomatoes : 99%
Come Jan 20, Donald Trump will ascend into one of the world’s most powerful positions. He plans to “outmatch” and “outlast” them all in an “arms race”, and he has tweeted that the United States must “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.
So incredulous is this state of affairs that it’s as if all The Onion articles have come true. Same goes for Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb, director-extraordinaire Stanley Kubrick’s satire on what happens when the wrong person pushes the wrong button. Kubrick initially started writing the script as a serious drama but later found the plot was just too appalling for any serious treatment and changed it into a satire. Sounds familiar? In just two hours, you can see how one mistake by a madman spiralled into utter global chaos.
2. Salam Neighbor
IMDB : 7.3/10
At at the end of 2015, there were already 21.3 million refugees worldwide. Another 10 million are stateless. More than a quarter of the refugees are from Syria. Equally as important are the devastating effects of countless other conflicts – famine in Yemen, the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya in Burma, etc. We’ve become so desensitised and disenchanted by these numbers and facts of people in far away places. Some perspective by two Americans living among refugees in Jordan’s Za’atari Refugee Camp will be much needed to remind us that they are just like us. And that we owe it to our common humanity to do something about it, even if it is as little as arming ourselves with information.
3. Black Mirror
Rotten Tomatoes : 96%
Black Mirror is not just one, but several hour-long powerful mini films, exploring the dark side of technology. “Nosedive” on the nightmares of a world ruled totally by social media stand out. Here, not only your Uber driver and restaurants get rated out of 5 stars but you and everything you are (at least externally) – are reduced to those five sparkly stars. Black Mirror’s social commentary is scathing but timely as our relationship with technology grows frighteningly deeper and deeper.
4. Lost In Translation
Rotten Tomatoes : 95%
Lonely, isolated and dissatisfied despite everything the world, or at least, Tokyo has to offer, a baby boomer and millennial figure their way through this in Sofia Coppola’s beautifully shot film. In Lost In Translation, she’s seeking her identity while he’s facing a midlife crisis. Probably one of Bill Murray’s best performances, it’ll also help us millennials see (in gorgeous cinematography too) how we eventually may find hope from our own isolation and loss.
Rotten Tomatoes : 90%
In Bridesmaids, the life you have envisioned have not worked out. Friends are lost. Careers tank. C’est la vie. We can let our guard down and laugh at ourselves for a bit. More importantly, let Bridesmaids take our pains for laughs and see that our everyday blunders are real charms superior to the fake glamour of lesser quality comedies.
Bring on 2017.
This article first appeared on Asian Correspondent.
Image via Shutterstock