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February 13, 2018

In Search Of The Distinctively Human In ‘Blade Runner 2049’

In the year 2049, humanity has lost its spiritual connection to nature. We live among the artificially conceived and revel in a life of fabrications. This is the world director Denis Villeneuve brings audiences in “Blade Runner 2049.” As we’ve discussed before, this film is brimming with visual complexity, as it contemplatively ruminates on humanity. Building on the subtext created by Ridley Scott in “Blade Runner,” what it means to be human is further explored in a new take on the sci-fi classic.

In this video essay, Like Stories Of Old artfully articulates the philosophies of ‘2049.’ The question of the soul is brought about in the relationship between the material, and the immaterial. In K’s mind, to be born is to have a soul. Thus, the artificial replicants are merely materials without the possession of that which would make their matter immaterial. Beyond simply having a soul, as the video essay explains, the intent on claiming it is equally important. The question of the soul becomes a relational issue. Our interactions and connections; our preconceived superiority over others based on those interactions or beliefs.

When the self-constructed souls of K and Luv meet in the final act of the film, it is an interaction between souls made by their worlds, their interactions, their perceived superiority. The video essay reflects on how these characters are brought into existence and shaped by the world around them.

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