The Illusion of Choice

Film Recommendation

The Lottery of Birth (2013)

This is a deeply power documentary! While not long by film standards ( 1h 17min), it packs quite a bunch. The filmmakers present a number of speakers that challenge the audience’s world view, and how it was conceived. Interviewing a range of intellectuals, including writers, philosophers, historians and neuroscientists, to name a few, they make the case by which much of our identities are shaped from birth without it being fully realized or appreciated by the individual. We are all born into a country, culture, religion, and environment that is already exerting its forces upon us, and unless we actively question and challenge this paradigm, we are simply supporting the status quo.

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This was a particularly poignant message made by the film. Being “politically neutral” as some would call it, isn’t actual neutrality. Rather it is actively supporting the powers that be, and the present system. Unfortunately, many might not even be aware of this premise, as the social conditioning has permeated so deeply. Some of the interviewers do try to bring to light the instances where the indoctrination had lapsed, and people had begun to question and protest. This in turn brings greater socio-political forces to bear. Yet there is hope! Increasing one’s awareness, questioning the current state of things, asking why are things the way they are, and why can’t they be another way. This type of inquiry is crucial for growth and understanding. I would highly recommend this film to anyone looking for some enlightenment and ready to expand their mental horizons.

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