A Movie with Subtitles
Directed by Ömer Faruk Aykut, ‘A Movie with Subtitles’ is a futuristic science fiction short that stars Ömer Faruk Aykut, Sezin Mutaf, Resul Kargin, Bora Mert İșeri and Gökhan Erarslan.
It is 2084, and people communicate through their thoughts. However, a totalitarian government is in control which not only reads every thought but has also outlawed all thinking opposed to the current system. Two people, therefore, take a journey out into the woods where 7G connections are weak, and therefore, their thoughts cannot be uploaded directly to the government. As they engage in unfiltered dialogue, secret government agents arrive, hot on their trail.
A haunting look into a futuristic fascist society where both talk and thoughts against the system are deemed illegal, the film is minimalistic science fiction done well. Choosing to tell the story through two protagonists, Aykut builds up a fascinating world, one that is futuristic but is hiding a terrible secret. The script is poignant and full of sub-text and, from a glance, reads like a call to the danger of technology’s invasiveness that is sure to become more rampant in the future. As humanity seeks ease in everyday life by relegating most tasks to technology, they unknowingly put their trust in a system that can be abused fairly easily by those in power.
Like its name, as the characters communicate through thoughts, the audience is made aware of these thoughts through subtitles. While the director could have conveyed the dialogue through audio, using subtitles works better. It is these narrative choices that elevate the film, transporting the audience into this world whilst slowly exposing them to the dangers lurking around. In addition, the ‘Matrix’ type villains in suits and shades also allude to the faceless and omnipotent government, which has invaded every facet of daily life and seeks total control. It is little nuances such as these which make the film so fantastic.
Made on a shoestring budget, ‘A Movie with Subtitles’ is a thinking man’s science fiction short that not only apprises its audience about the coming technological overhaul of fascist governments but also how such a future will play out. Showcasing the age-old battle between human freedom and governmental control, the film’s real power lies in making you think of what would happen if such things came to pass in real life. Ömer Faruk Aykut has therefore made a fantastic ode to '1984', and ‘A Movie with Subtitles’ is a thoughtful piece about future dangers to human freedom.