In a conversation with someone the other day I suddenly remembered a film. Silent Running. Made in 1972 it was, IMHO, years ahead of its time.
A brief synopsis which I hope isn’t too spoiler filled for those that have not seen it. Set in the future where mankind have so polluted earth that plants can’t live. So a fleet of space craft have a set a pods on them, greenhouses in effect, that hold the last plants, trees etc saved. They are waiting to be told to return to earth to allow the reforestation to begin. However they get told to jettison the pods and return to earth for commercial work instead.
The rest of the film is about a scientist on one of the ships and his struggle with that decision and what he does about it.
Made in 1972 remember its themes about pollution of the planet ring so more true today 47 years later. There are little drones etc all pre star wars etc. Bruce Dern is the star.
I remember seeing the film on TV in the mid 70s. I’d have been mid teens. I remember I cried my eyes out at the finale (I’ll leave you to watch the movie or read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia!).
For years and years afterwards I often told people it was one of my favourite films. But I haven’t seen it or thought about it in ages until this conversation sparked my memory.
And then I was set off thinking. I’d have seen this film a year, maybe two, before I began to regularly drink. I remember my family laughing and chastising me in a jovial “pull yourself together” as I cried at that film. Outward strong emotional outbursts weren’t encouraged for the men of the family.
This film isn’t why I’m an alcoholic but it suddenly struck me why I liked alcohols ability to numb my emotions so well. Why I did then abuse it’s use for 25 years to numb those emotions. That memory is symptomatic of why alcohol enticed me into its lair.
Now it’s accepted in my nuclear family that I can be quite emotional about films, news stories etc. Me weeping at DIY SOS or appeal films etc is not uncommon and met with “oh dear Dad’s gone again”. I cried like mad over that flypast for the guy in the Sheffield park just because he’d remembered those airmen sacrifice to save him and his friends 75 years ago and his amazing dedication to the memorial there.
I’m thinking I must buy a copy of Silent Running and watch it again to see if I still cry at the end 40 years on.