To start, I must admit that Christopher Nolan’s 3 hour epic (note my now rare correct use of the word ‘epic’), Interstellar, had a truly profound impact on me. In fact, at its climax, it moved me to rather uncontrollable tears. One of my favourite facets of this sublime slice of cinematic splendour is the central theme, with its deeply resonating message:
‘Once you’re a parent, you are a ghost of your children’s future.’ (Interstellar)
The premise, and promise, of a dad who struggles to balance ambition, curiosity and a young family, is one that truly resonated with me. Our hero’s journey takes him to the far reaches of the universe, but truth, and therein the future, is ultimately found within his paternal love for his daughter. A deliciously unduplicitous depiction of the passage and natural progression of time and its eternal ramifications.
The choice of the word ‘ghost’ is also particularly poignant in my opinion. As an almost haunting premonition, the use of this word warns us of the very real potential, once a parent, that our existence will continue to permeate in one way or another throughout all those who supersede us; be that in loving memory or future failings. As a parent, your current choices will have more far-reaching impact than just within your immediate future, and even lifespan.
We are but a solitary drop in the historic ocean of humanity. We must remember that although who we materially are may be eventually forgotten, the impact of our actions will continue to affect those who come after us for a long time to come.
(Photo – Eli Woodbine, London, 2015)