Soylent Green (1973): A Bleak Vision of the Future That Continues to Resonate Today

04 April 2013
Soylent Green (1973) is a science fiction film set in a dystopian future where the Earth's resources have been depleted, and the population has exploded. The film follows a New York City police detective named Frank Thorn, played Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes), as he investigates the murder of a wealthy businessman who was a member of the board of the Soylent Corporation, which produces a popular food product called Soylent Green. As Thorn delves deeper into the case, he discovers a sinister secret about the Soylent Green product, which leads to the film's shocking and unforgettable ending.

Soylent Green explores a variety of thought-provoking themes that remain relevant today, such as overpopulation, environmental degradation, and the consequences of corporate greed. These themes are brought to life through the film's dystopian setting, which paints a bleak picture of a future where humanity has exploited the Earth's resources to the brink of collapse.

soylent green is people!

One of the film's central themes is the idea of overpopulation and its devastating effects on society. In the world of Soylent Green, the population has grown so large that the government is forced to implement draconian measures to control it. This is exemplified by the overcrowded living conditions, the rampant poverty, and the widespread use of euthanasia to manage the elderly and infirm. Through this portrayal, the film highlights the dangers of unchecked population growth and the need for responsible stewardship of the planet's resources.

Another theme that Soylent Green explores is the concept of environmental degradation and its impact on human health and well-being. The film depicts a world where pollution is rampant, and natural resources are scarce, leading to widespread hunger and disease. This is exemplified by the Soylent Corporation's production of the eponymous food product, which is made from a mysterious substance that the company claims is high in nutrients but is, in reality, made from human remains. This theme highlights the dangers of pollution and the need for responsible resource management to ensure a sustainable future.

Finally, the film examines the consequences of unchecked corporate greed and the exploitation of vulnerable populations. The Soylent Corporation, in its quest for profit, is willing to deceive the public and even resort to murder to protect its secret. This theme underscores the need for ethical business practices and the importance of holding corporations accountable for their actions.

All of these themes come to a head in the film's shocking and unforgettable ending when Frank Thorn, discovers the truth about Soylent Green and desperately tries to reveal it to the world by yelling out the classic quote:

Soylent green is people! 

His efforts may ultimately have been in vain as the people around him appear apathetic to his message, leaving the audience to grapple with the film's profound message about the dangers of unchecked power and the need for ethical responsibility.

In conclusion, Soylent Green (1973) is a powerful and thought-provoking film that explores a variety of important themes that remain relevant today. From overpopulation to environmental degradation to corporate greed, the film forces us to confront some of the most pressing issues facing our world and highlights the need for responsible stewardship of the planet's resources. Its famous ending leaves a lasting impact on viewers, reminding us of the importance of speaking truth to power and standing up for what is right, even in the face of overwhelming opposition.


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About the author Jimmy Jangles

My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

At The Astromech, you can expect to find a variety of articles, reviews, and analysis related to science fiction, including books, movies, TV, and games.
From exploring the latest news and theories to discussing the classics, I aim to provide entertaining and informative content for all fans of the genre.

Whether you are a die-hard Star Trek fan or simply curious about the world of science fiction, The Astromech has something for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and join me on this journey through the stars!
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