Explaining Earth to Extraterrestrials Using Five Films

Film writer Sam Fragoso from
Duke & the Movies has prepared an interesting blogathon this week. This is the procedurals:
Extraterrestrial forces land on Earth. Unknowing of our planet and society, you can pick five films from the history of cinema that represent humanity. What titles would you choose and why?

Just like the man behind the banners said: “It’s a really unique concept. At its heart, the blogathon is about boiling down all of humanity and civilized history into five films. As a human, I feel that I’m uniquely qualified to select five films of my own, each for specific reasons.” John LaRue
I’ll give it a try and here are my five choices penned down:
The Past – The Present - The Future
In our perception of our world we have the sense of the past, the present, and the future that structures our memory and our mind. To understand humanity’s memory and evolution, the Aliens or extra-terrestrials, if you prefer, have to watch Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It might be an obvious choice but also an essential viewing to any human or non-human species with a brain. It might even say that it is food for the brain.
The clock is tickingAnother concept about our civilization is time. That appeared with the 20th Century and the agglomerations where workers needed to get to their jobs in time to work ten to twelve hours shifts. The best film that captures this aspect of our life is Fritz Lang’s masterpiece Metropolis about the alienation, yes I did it, of the cities. Even if it is more than 80 years old, the lecture of Lang on our post-modern world is just getting clearer.
Life and Death and the Afterlife
Recently I watched a Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger film that impressed me very much. I think it is a great synthesis on our vision of the global world and also how much of the people in Occident conceive the afterlife. This is also a film about love and its power. If Aliens land on Earth maybe we can try to get them to give us a chance. I name A Matter of Life and Death.
HumanismAs simple as this is for us, it might not that simplistic for others to understand what we call empathy for our peers. Take one of the worst thing that ever happened to Humanity: War or in the case of the movie chosen the Second World War. And take the most sensible and talented actor/director ever and you’ll have The Great Dictator. The final speech, where Chaplin puts himself in front of the camera without makeup or any trick but just his good sense anti-war monolog. Plus, it’s full of great moments!
FearIn the History of humanity one thing has been a constant: fear. The fear of other religions, races, sexuality, gender, political ideas, etc. One of the contemporary fears of our world is the terrorists and the unknown. Most of the humans on this Earth are afraid of what they don’t know. The Day the Earth Stood Still might be a metaphor on the McCarthyism era and the “Witch Hunt” that came with it but still, its main subject is the coming of an extraterrestrial in the form of a man bringing his thoughts and knowledge on Earth. As scary as it can be it is also a lesson we all should learn to stop having bad first impressions and let the newcomers present themselves and come in peace.
Well that’s it for my entry to this blogathon! What do you think of my choices? Please link your lists down here and it will be a pleasure to read yours!


  1. Awesome choices! I almost had a fear category, too, but wound up splitting death and religion. I need to see the Powell/Pressburger film.

    1. You did an amazing job too! The Fear category is particularly modern and I think it can be explained by the popularity of Horror films and modern illnesses...
      And yes, you have to watch Powell/Pressburger's AMOLAD!


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