A friend of mine who is a filmmaker in Los Angeles has always mentioned Metropolis as one of his favorite films. The 1927 German silent film directed by Fritz Lang was recently restored after the original version was discovered in Buenos Aires after an 80 year search.
Last night, Debbie and I watched the restored version on Netflix since it was available for streaming.
In many ways it was a perfect film for Labor Day since the plot involves the evil industrialist and the workers who are more like slaves that keep the city going. Set in the year 2026 (which is coming up quite soon compared to when the film was made), this film was the forerunner for films such as Blade Runner, Star Wars, the Matrix, and other science fiction epics. The music is mesmerizing and the story speaks to the battle between progress and what it takes to get there.
Some of the acting, sets, and especially the “sexy” dancing had us laughing, but considering when the film was made (after World War I but before the Nazis gained power and before workers had rights or even a Labor Day holiday), it is quite fascinating.
With the ruling elite considered the brain, and the workers considered the hands, the film reminds us that “The mediator between brain and hands must be the heart!” Whether we have the responsibility of a CEO or an intern (or anywhere in between), the more connected the brain, hands, and heart become the more effective the organization can be.