The Final Cut
Run Time: 105 minutes
Director: Omar Naim
Starring: Robin Williams, Mira Sorvino, James Caviezel
DVD Release: March 22, 2005
In the world today we appear on video more times than we are capable of noticing. Most stores have cameras positioned strategically to prevent shoplifting and monitor customer traffic. Elevators, parking ramps and other public facilities use video cameras under the guise of keeping us safe. Millions of digital video camera owners record friends and family at special occasions for a sort of highlights reel of life.
What if all these videos could be compiled into an overview of one person's life? That comes across as very Big Brother and would certainly raise the ire of privacy advocates everywhere. The Final Cut presents a not too distant future where parents may opt to implant a recorder in their children's heads, capturing everything from the child's existence in first person POV to create a re-memory of a person's life when it draws to a close. It's the job of Cutters to take all the footage from a person's life and recap the highlights for the re-memory.
Adam Hackman (played by Robin Williams), a Cutter, is a self-described sin eater; an outcast from society tasked with absorbing the sins of the deceased so they may pass into the hereafter free of the burdens of life's transgressions. Hackman reviews all the footage from a person's life, absorbing the good with the bad, reconstructing a version of a life the way friends and relatives want to remember an individual, not necessarily representative of the way an individual lived their life. The film raises some tough questions about who has the right to a person's memories and how would people's actions change if there was a chance that everything was being recorded. Intimate moments are later viewed by someone in a room preparing a video memorial. Indiscretions and achievements equally weighted until cut through an editing decision to paint a new picture of a life gone dark. While the movie doesn't answer any of the questions raised with any clarity, it's a refreshing take on the potential impact of accessible technology on the future of human interaction. While this movie didn't get much attention it's worth at least one viewing for fans of science fiction and future drama.