2081 | based on Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron"
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A short film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron, 2081 depicts a dystopian future in which, thanks to the 212th Amendment to the Constitution and the unceasing vigilance of the United States Handicapper General, everyone is "finally equal...." The strong wear weights, the beautiful wear masks and the intelligent wear earpieces that fire off loud noises to keep them from taking unfair advantage of their brains. It is a poetic tale of triumph and tragedy about a broken family, a brutal government, and an act of defiance that changes everything.
Featuring an original score by Lee Brooks performed by Kronos Quartet (Requiem for a Dream) and narration by Academy Award Nominee Patricia Clarkson (Far From Heaven, Goodnight and Good Luck), 2081 stars James Cosmo (Braveheart, Trainspotting), Julie Hagerty (Airplane!, What About Bob?) and Armie Hammer (The Social Network).
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Top customer reviews
For those that wish to pretend this an an attack on the truly handicapped you really need to go back to your re-education systems. You have missed the entire premise. I gave a 3 only because of the subject matter's importance.
It shows a perverted attempt to make all persons 'equal' in spite of the gifts granted by their Creator. Mankind will now decide what Nature and Nature's God can and can not impart as natural abilities. Mankind shall now limit how much of a natural ability one can possess. It is political correctness and social control amplified to the point of evil absurdity for it creates a civilization that can truly no longer progress and develop due to a near utopian ideal where equality means equally disadvantaged (if not equally disturbed!)
This society can only punish - not truly reward. Instead of uplifting those that desire or have need- the opportunistic, greedy, and the jealous have instead decided to punish and destroy all persons with some superior talent greater than their own and greater than the mean.
It is never the mundane that advance a society but its advancement is by its greatest thinkers, moralists,philosophers, spiritualists, and scientists.
The costuming choices are much less awkward than what is described in the story, and Harrison himself also much different than described, but again, I think this is a great place to begin critical and analytical class discussion.The film score is haunting and well-done and the actors capture the essence of their roles. 2081 won't disappoint the Vonnegut fan or teacher.
But, being horrified at this fictional world might not be enough. The real question, the one that viewers need to ask on their own, is: how to make our real world better.
I would also suggest you find the biggest format you can project 2081 in. I'm fortunate to have 14ft ceilings and have attached two whiteboards together to project onto the surface while adding surround sound to enhance the entire experience. (out of my pocket) It makes an impression to a middle schooler and will make for an active discussion of the points you may want to make. As others have mentioned, The Kronos Quartet is a large part of the fluidity of the film which emphasizes the horror of the Handicapper General's violent non-verbal state response as the violinist plays on. My only disappointment is no supplementary director's commentary or extras are with the film. The subject is certainly current and very apparent in the current social engineering by school boards and administrations nationwide. An excellent companion to the short story. Turn up the volume and prepare to define doozy.