“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. President Kennedy inspired a nation to greatness with his mission to put man on the moon. He inspired a nation to acquire an education in math and science, to look to the skies, and to dream beyond the visible. Like Kennedy, does Christopher Nolan want to inspire our nation, our world, and our children to greatness – to discover that we are much more than our social status and our possessions? It seems so. Does art inspire us? If so, how? Art invites us to awaken from our slumber, discover the desires of our hearts, and transform the chaos and disorder of our lives – one small step at a time.
How does Nolan’s art transform and inspire hope in our culture? The movie Interstellar awakens our senses through the use of images, music, emotions, relationships, and love; it invites us to get outside of ourselves and discover who we are meant to be. The art of discovering who we are occurs when we encounter beauty in the ‘wound that strikes at the heart, and in this way our eyes are open”.
Wounded relationships are at the heart of Interstellar. Cooper has many past wounds (both physical and spiritual) from the loss of his wife to the lack of trust in his instincts and intuitions; but the deepest physical and spiritual wound that pierces Cooper’s heart is his relationship with his daughter when he tells her goodbye.
When a heart is lukewarm it does not go on a journey to discover the truth. Only a heart that is awake will go on a spiritual journey to overcome it shortcomings. As Professor Brand stated, “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it”.
Nolan brilliantly uses real images of outer space to awaken our senses to the beauty of the universe, at a time when NASA seems all but forgotten. Personally, I found these images stunningly beautiful, perfectly ordered, and evidence of a higher power. Viewing the images of outer space reminded me of my childhood, and the excitement I felt while witnessing Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
Have we lost our identity? Have we lost our hope in our nation, our neighbor, and in our families? Have we forgotten how to dream?
As Cooper states, “We’ve always defined ourselves by the ability to overcome the impossible… moments when we dare to aim higher, to break barriers, to reach for the stars, to make the unknown known. We count these moments as our proudest achievements. But we lost all that. Or perhaps we’ve just forgotten that we are still pioneers and we’ve barely begun. Our greatest accomplishments cannot be behind us, because our destiny lies above us.”
Interstellar invites us to stop looking at the dirt and look up!
Let us remember who we are!
Who do you want to be? Are you that person? What do you need to change to become the person you want to be?
In your journal, describe the person you want to BE!
Make a list of the things you’d like to do (and don’t like to do) in life. Are these things aligned with the person you want to be?
To be the person you want to be, what changes would you need to make to your list? Re-rank your list.