If you haven't seen the movie, here's a basic overview. Spoiler Alert.
In this world, time is money, and in order to pay for food, rent, electricity, you have to pay with the days of your life that you have left. Each person has a "watch" implanted in their arm which counts down the number of days they have left before their time is up - and in order to get more days, they have to work to get days/hours/minutes added to their time bank account.
A key theme in the movie is that the United States is split up into "Time Zones" - where people live in according to how much "time" they were born into. In Timberlake's zone, people are dirt poor, living day-to-day, paying ridiculously high living costs, working in factories doing menial tasks to get enough time to live the rest of the day - but many of them don't make it - and their bodies shut down when their clocks run out.
In the other time zones, people are "Millionears" - they have millions of years on their clock, live in lavish houses, drive fancy cars, and can buy whatever they want. These "rich" people own banks and businesses that deliberately raise the taxes and prices of products to keep the poor people struggling to get more time.
Obviously this movie is an analogy of the capitalistic system that we are currently living in. In our system, the majority of people are living day-to-day, unsure if they will have enough money to pay for the basic necessities of life - which, if they don't have them, they will DIE. Then there are a small percentage of people who are born into money, who never struggle to survive and to whom spending money is like shedding skin cells.
There were several lines in the movie that really stuck out for me - one where the poor boy asks the rich girl,
"How can you live with yourself
watching people die right next to you"
and she replies "You don't watch, you close your eyes" - this is the exact attitude that many people take when they justify our current economic system - they deliberately close their eyes to the abuse that capitalism promotes. In reality, over HALF of the world's population - +4 billion people - are struggling on less than $2 per day, barely able to pay for food and clean water - even having to sell off their children into slavery and prostitution to pay for their other children to eat. This is unacceptable - and yet we all participate in this system - so we have to consider how we as human beings can change this system to one that makes sure no one can shut their eyes and abdicate responsibility for Life Here.
The coolest scene from the entire movie is the scene where the protagonist has broken into the businessman's office to steal a time account that contains one million years. The businessman says that the poor people will never stand up to the system because they all desire to be wealthy - even though the probability of that happening is close to nil. This so reflects the mentality of the average American citizen, preprogrammed and brainwashed by the "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" belief system - where we believe that we still have a chance to be uber-wealthy by some strike of Luck - reinforced by the stories of movie stars and lottery winners - those fairy tales we tell ourselves at night of the few who "came from nothing to something" so we can justify going to our job the next morning.
**Out of the 6.8 Billion people who live in this world, 24 million of them are considered millionaires. That's a 0.035% that you're a millionaire, or you'll ever become one. And if you don't have a proper education or a wide skill set, the only way you'll become a millionaire is if you win the lottery - About one out of every three people in the United States think that winning the lottery is the only way to become financially secure in their life. However, the likelihood of winning the lottery is about 18 million to one - with only about 247 winners per year in the entire US. If you live to 70 and you play every lottery, you have a .0004% chance of winning in your lifetime - you're 20 times more likely to die from getting hit by lightning.
All in all, the businessman says it as it actually is in Capitalism:
"For One to live forever, Many must die"- the system is supported by people believing they have a chance to succeed and make a lot of money in this world - when in reality the odds are stacked in favor of keeping the rich rich so they can keep Capitalism running as is. And watching this scene, we have the opportunity to consider the implications of holding on to the Bootstrap Mentality = None of us will care about each other, because we all expect each individual to take care of themselves and only themselves. Which is how we turn blind eyes to the 48 million people who are in poverty in our own country, in our own Backyards.
Now, the movie didn't provide a solution for the Time-Valued system. All the "heroes" did was rob a bunch of banks to try and "fight the system" - common for a big time movie though, just providing a point for people to blame the "rich" or the people they perceive to be in control - fuel for the Occupy protesters to justify their non-movement. I heard a reporter on NPR say that this movie was a symbol for how we should "live in the moment" and "be grateful for the time we have" - which may be the intended purpose of the film - but let's not let some light and love bullshit hide the transparency that is how a Capitalistic system is inherently abusive and is Devaluing Life in every moment that we participate in it.
This time, you have the opportunity to take a Stand - to do something that actually matters - that will assist each human being on this Earth to be supported and not have to Sell out their lives for Money. And by making sure that everyone in this world has enough Money to survive each day, you make sure we all have enough TIME to enjoy our Life here on Earth.
Take that Step, don't Close your Eyes:
Watch this awesome series on the Equal Money System
Then visit www.desteni.co.za to learn more about the people who are Practivists for Life.