A couple days ago I went to see Rio 2.
And of course, it really got me thinking, though not exactly about the movie (well, it is kind of about the movie, I mean, that’s why I’m writing this). What really got me thinking was the reaction from a random girl who accidentally sat beside me at the movie.
There was this scene about Amazon deforestation, which showed all the heavy equipments and chainsaws that were used in cutting down trees. There was also a scene that show the difference between the balding part of the forest and the still shady one.
And this girl, who sat beside me, was constantly gasping for air. She sounded shocked, and screamed “oh my god” about a hundred times everytime these scenes of illegal logging come up.
1. Was she really surprised?
I mean, she’s Indonesian, I’m Indonesian. I think the Rio franchise did a great job on ‘educating’ the audience about environmental issues (what with the species extinction focus in the first movie and the deforestation issue in the second one). But was the girl who sat beside me really surprised about the Amazon deforestation? Has she ever read and/or watch the news about deforestation? Maybe about Indonesia’s deforestation?
I mean, I’m not trying to be bitter or pessimistic. But when you are shocked to see what a cartoon can do in regards to Amazon deforestation, or any rain forests deforestation for that matter, you should really get your awareness level in check. Truth is, a film always romanticises and dramatises everything. But in the matter of deforestation, what’s going on in the real world is even more shocking than what a movie production team is willing to display.
2. I wonder what that random girl takes home with her after the movie.
Is it the Amazon deforestation that she was upset about? Is it the morale of staying together as a family? Or is it the wonderful colours and the beauty of birds synchronised flying? I don’t know.
I mean, tons of other cartoons have been trying to remind us about these environmental issues, but there has not been any significant change. Remember Finding Nemo and the issue of over-fishing, oceans-polluting and putting endangered sea animals in an aquarium? Or the sad story of Wall-E, which practically slapped us in our faces with every environmental issues we can think of. From air pollution to waste management, from genetically modified food to demolition of the last surviving plant on earth. How about Over the Hedge that simply says the wild animals will soon invade human villages because they are running out of food in the jungle? Or Happy Feet, which startled the world with the cuteness of penguins when it was really about the Antarctica. Also, besides Rio 2, I was recently stunted by the movie Epic, which featured a story about good versus evil, where good is trying to protect the forest and evil wants to do the opposite.
I mean, after all that reminders, aren’t we ashamed of ourselves?
And oh, aren’t those big companies that produce those movies ashamed of themselves?
Anyhow, happy Earth Day, I guess.