Watch the Movie Contact
- Contact often suggests that cultural conflicts between religion and science would be brought to the fore by the apparent contact with aliens that occurs in the film. A point of discussion is the existence of God, with several different positions being portrayed. Contact depicts intense debate occurring as a result of the apparent contact with aliens. Many clips of well-known debate shows such as Crossfire and Larry King Live are shown, with participants discussing the implications of the message, asking whether it is proof of the existence of alien life or of God, and whether science is encroaching upon religious ground by, as one believer puts it, “talking to your god for you.” The head of a religious organization casts doubt on the morality of building the machine, noting: “We don’t even know whether [the aliens] believe in God.” The first machine is ultimately destroyed by a religious extremist, in the belief that building it was detrimental to humankind.
- At the end of the film, Arroway is put into a position that she had traditionally viewed with skepticism and contempt: that of believing something with complete certainty, despite being unable to prove it in the face of not only widespread incredulity and skepticism (which she admits that as a scientist she would normally share) but also evidence apparently to the contrary. Zemeckis stated that he intended the message of the film to be that science and religion can coexist rather than being opposing camps, as shown by the coupling of scientist Arroway with the religious Joss, as well as his acceptance that the “journey” indeed took place.
- What would the wider implications be in the movie if the camera at the end had NOT shown 18 hours of static but actual footage of what really happened? [Please provide a treatment to political, religious and social implications]
- Is a PROOF for God necessary for religion to become universal in our world today? Why or why not?