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Monday 9 January 2012

The Divide

When I was a kid at summer camp, the counsellors used to play a game with us.  They would describe an end of the world scenario and ask us who should be allowed to stay in a bomb shelter to survive the end of the world and rebuild civilisation.  They would list about 12 people with different backgrounds and skills and say there was only room for 8 (or something like that...), then ask the kids to discuss who would be allowed to stay and who would have to die.  Heavy stuff to pull on pre-teens.

I always answered, "well you need both men and women to populate the world, so I say have men and women in the bomb shelter."  This answer was usually met with mild acknowledgement.  Then I'd say, "but if the same few people are re-populating the world, then there will be inbreeding and potentially a cross-eyed, cannibalistic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre scenario," then I'd add that "I'd rather die in the blast." 

Given that I'd completely missed the point of the exercise, I was usually asked to leave the cabin.  Which, by the way, didn't help me understand the point of the exercise.  The lesson here is that you include the dummy to help make him smarter.  Excluding the dummy never lets the dummy learn.  Hear that, Mr. Krasner?

When Ned Flanders built a bomb shelter, he let everyone in, then he was kicked out.  Feeling ashamed, all the Springfieldians in the bomb shelter joined the outcast Flanders, only to watch a tiny piece of the meteor destroy the bomb shelter.  Great stuff.

I watched the "teaser" trailer for The Divide:  A nuclear bomb blast sends the tenants of an urban, low-rise apartment building scurrying down the stairs to the exit.  When the exit is blocked by fire, they head for the basement where some have already gathered in the sub-basement, furnace area, looking room.  Some get in, some don't. 

So, a bunch of people, during the end of the world are possibly trapped together in a large room with limited food and the panic and uncertainty of their situation.  This is some pretty intense stuff.  What we can guess is that some will emerge as leaders, some as agitators, some as diplomats, some as criminals, but all will slowly lose social graces and civility as hunger, panic and fear, combined with length of stay, set in.

The Divide is a good title.  This film looks like one of those experiments that examines what happens when you put a bunch of rats together in a small cage and they have to face the reality of their situation, limited food and space, and each other. 

Given what I (sadly) feel about human nature and the horrors we are capable of as a species, I don't know if I have the stomach to even want to see this film.  That said, it looks really interesting. 

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