Economic Rationality against Ecological Reality: A Study in the Selected American Films (2000 to 2010): A Study in the Selected American Films (2000 to 2010)

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Jayshree Singh


The American films such as I am Legend (2007); Deadline (2009); Turning Point (2009); Bomb It (2007); Crash (2004); Erin Brockovich (2000); Zeitgeist (2007) are a few of the selected films that have been undertaken for analyses to bring forth the human efforts and understanding for their existence. These films raise two questions for viewers and critics while creating empathy or delivering alienation-effect. The first is – How do the seeds of ambiguity are sown by anti-intellectual elements in order to configure ‘orthodoxies of modernity’? The second is – How has ‘post-modernity positioned social problems in the age of scientific rationalism and cultural constructions in the mindset’? (Pluckrose, Helen et al. 2018.The Necessity of Post-Modernism in Post-Truth Age. Ed. Kenneth Houston. Areo

The selected films for the study have problematized, identified, and measured the welfare-alternatives and assets of the secular, materialistic, mechanized and techno-culture in contradiction to complex, stark reality of modern society of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The filmic text inadvertently displays one-dimensional man whose needs, inner desires and ambitions are de facto human values.  That means episteme is hijacked, and it is a deconstruction tool of self-serving ideologues of moral panic.  These film on one hand project an outcry for fear and alienation, suppression, discrimination, homelessness, fraught and environmen­tal destruction, while on the other hand there is a quest to ensure a healthy, humane and happy life with dignity, quality, safety, security and equity. This primordial human need and fear suggests characters’ expectations and questions for ‘common sense’, but the same rationality represents the tragic truth of human life which is more into inhuman, illogical, invisible trap of human catastrophe, because the relativity of contextual logic and fragmenting trust are under the governance of power relationships which stands beyond the notions of common sense.

The research study aims to determine the possibility of a new meaning in the actions and conduct of the characters, self-deconstruction, resolution of human happiness in contemporary times, the possibility and potentiality of human choices, the idea of constructing a better world of self-actualization that is based on likeness and enabling aspect, the voice and redress of the dormant demands for social and economic justice for those who under the pressures of economic progress have been stripped of their identity, roots and entity. The democratic spirit, the public scrutiny, the economic rationality and technocracy dangerously sow explosive of rebel and negative variables of resignation, indifference, near nihilism, essentialism and pseudo intellectualism, which at surface level is a collective consciousness and engagement for empowerment, efficiency and ecology, but inside it is far from ‘physiogamic totality’ (German Painter, Johann Moritz Rugendas).

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Literature facing the challenges of the Anthropocene