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A movie about communication (and how the lack of it causes us problems)
A movie about communication (and how the lack of it causes us problems). A movie about how we interpret the other (the foreigner, the unknown, the visitor) based on our own language. Obviously this is how we establish contact, how we socialize. Languages offer us a way to make ourselves understood. The problem is that there is much more than we can express with our language systems. Moreover, when we try to understand the unknown through our language, we run the risk of misinterpreting the other.
'Arrival' offers a reflection on the importance of immersing ourselves in the culture of the other when we want to understand it. It also allows us to question how our ability to think is limited by our language, our vocabulary, our communication tools. In addition, it brings the reflection about how today, more than ever, dialogues are extremely fundamental. A dialogue, when effective, allows us, in addition to getting out of our arrogant and strongly cemented ignorance, to reconcile the differences that characterize us as humans.
Although I thought the movie was amazing and beautifully conceived, (and here I put a SPOILER ALERT) I disliked the way it painted China (and Russia to some extent) as a naive and inconsequential governance, performing acts that need to be corrected by the US. Beyond the philosophical conclusions of the film, the political outcome would be that the US would remain better prepared keep its leadership. Paradoxically, I thought that, given the character of the language that demanded translation, the Chinese would be far more successful in deciphering it than the Americans. Chinese ideograms and the way they embody concepts in their symbols are much closer to the language of visitors than our Western system. But finally, I'll leave such technical analyzes to those who really understand the subject.