With a title like ‘All is lost’, one might expect a story about the big issues facing us now, and this is what it is – in sharp and ironic contrast to the preceding inane ads for cars, hair products and the like.
This new film is written and directed by J C Chandor, writer of the screenplay and director of the Wall Street thriller ‘Margin Call’. ‘ All is Lost’ is set in a very different context: it’s about a lone yachtsman, brilliantly played by Robert Redford, and it has you clutching your seat all the way through. You live the terrifying and extremely challenging experience resulting from your boat being holed by a stray container in the middle of the vast horizons of the Indian Ocean, hundreds of miles from land.
It seems to me significant that the offending container is spewing out trainers – a symbol of globalized addictive materialism - and, later on, the crippled yacht is almost run down by a container ship with its mountainous cargo of ‘goods’.
Without revealing the ending, the story can certainly be seen as a metaphor for the plight of mankind, struggling against incredible odds to get planet Earth back on course to a sustainable future. In fact the ending can be interpreted differently depending on your worldview: are you hopeful or hopeless?
As a Green, I’m hopeful that we could eventually pull things round. If there was no hope, why would I bother? Am I being unrealistically optimistic in the face of very high odds against, considering the monumental mess we continue to make of our planet? All I know is that if we don’t have hope that we can get back on course, we won’t make it. But it will need us all to do our bit - even if that’s only in how we vote. It’s clear from various polls that more and more people now support green policy, and businesses are vying to become more ethical due to public demand, so the arguments have largely been won - but we need to put our votes where our hearts are if we are to get the policies in place which will rescue us from the increasingly likely world shipwreck.
There are European elections in May, so I’m hoping that 2014 is the year the boat will finally swing round to get the wind in the sails of public opinion to take us in the direction of hope and away from fear, greed and rampant materialism.