Tuesday 27 October 2015

Scripts for the Future

My history teacher once said, “It is our loves that make life worth living.” By this measure, I have no ground to complain.

I encountered my first love at the age of 10, on a rainy autumn afternoon. I was in the 5th grade, just having been allowed to return home every day right after the last class. The day-boarders of my class (i. e. those who remained in school for the afternoon) were brought to cinema once a month and we were invited to join them. That afternoon I was not sure if I wanted to go because the film's title reminded me of the action genre I did not like. Reluctantly, I went – and I was not the same person as I left the cinema. I fell in love with Back to the Future for the rest of my life.

The Power of Love

Hill Valley, 1955, as seen from the future
("Back to the Future", © Universal Pictures)
For a long time, I thought it was my interest in history which resonated so strongly with this time-travel movie. In fact, however, the film's protagonist does not travel back in time on a historical scale. He travels back in time on a personal scale, into a period which still lives on vividly in the memories of his parents. Instead of depicting a historical epoch, the film shows how a family's life was shaped by past events that happened to its members and how another turn of events could have led to a different form of life for the family and its members. It is this personal theme that has enchanted millions watching Back to the Future in the past three decades.