Saturday, January 24, 2009

Time out for thoughtful fiction.

Since, as Gareth Patterson pointed out, the perceived differences between human and animal are fiction--not based on actual facts--today I turn to a work of fiction that turns human/animal relationships upside down to illustrate how our perceptions work.

The movie, "Rat", is a Kafka-esque story that is also a very intelligent study of human nature. Pete Postlethwaite stars as a middle-aged Irishman who magically turns into a rat one day. The basic question of the movie is, How do people act and react to someone whose appearance of humanness has been removed? No one in the film doubts that the rat is the same person/personality that once was a man, but without his human appearance, he no longer is a person to any of them.

It's a very funny film, because it is so intelligent in portraying basic human nature. It speaks volumes about human/human and human/animal relationships.

Sometimes it's good to look at things from an inverted perspective, to better understand how things really are.

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