“Jung_E,” the Korean action drama, makes us think about our choices and the kind of world we are rooting for. Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, the film shows us the other side of technological advancement and how important it is to save humanity, since it is one of those few things that differentiate us from machines. In Yeon’s world, we saw that the only thing that influenced the motives and actions of individuals and organizations was material gain. So, let’s break down all the satire and symbolism that the movie “Jung_E” presents and determine how valid the concerns are.
In the movie “Jung_E”, we hear Kim Sang-hoon say that humans once had the privilege of paying equal attention to product design and feasibility. He says that it was the age of abundance, and that is why such ostentatious inclinations were present in human society. He makes us feel like strangers, and the awful realization seeps in that at the rate we’re going, we’ll surely end up making the earth habitable. The biggest problem with human beings, in general, is that we start taking things for granted the minute we know something isn’t going away anytime soon. Worrying about future generations is still considered absurd. Being aware of the environment and the impact one’s activities have on nature is an attribute that should be instilled in a child at an early age, and only then can we expect them to make greener and more sustainable choices. I don’t know about developed nations, but I’m pretty sure nature conservation is definitely not on any individual’s wish list in a developing or underdeveloped nation and, in fact, the least of their concerns. They can’t be blamed either because the struggle to earn a livelihood trumps everything else.
The question that often comes to mind is whether the future will really look like what Sang-ho Yeon has shown us in “Jung_E”. It’s scary to even think that there would be more AI than humans and that science would facilitate brain replication and copying of brain data after the biological death of a human. What “Jung_E” does best is create a narrative that is “Black Mirror-ish” in its approach, and more than science and technology, it makes us aware of the conflicting emotions felt by a human being who is trapped in that world.
As Dr. Yun Seo-hyun oversees the simulation test, she doesn’t know if she should be happy that technology has made it easier for her mother’s consciousness to be copied into a clone or if she should feel bad about it, no matter how real it may be. look. the truth is that her mother would never come back to life. When Yun Seo-hyun goes to take her ethics test, we learn that her cancer has metastasized and spread to vital organs in her body. The doctor told her that she had approximately three months to live and that she should start the process of copying her brain. It was then that we realized that even in a post-apocalyptic world, where the survival of humans was at stake, class politics and discrimination still existed in society.
The movie “Jung_E” lets us know that humans can change the world, but they can never change their intrinsic nature. Personally, I associate human nature with greed and selfishness, and we got proof of this when the doctor told Yun Seo-hyun about the three packs he could choose from. The Type A package was intended for the elite and guaranteed that the prosthetic body into which a dying individual’s brain would be transferred would have all human rights and freedoms. The cost of the package was so high that even people like Yun Seo-hyun, who worked for a company like Kronoid, couldn’t afford it. In Type B, there were some restrictions, and the prosthesis did not receive as many privileges. Type B was for the upper middle class of society, where rights such as adoption were not granted, but permission was still required by the government to access brain data. Type C was basically meant for the downtrodden and people who belonged to the lower middle class and below. No rights were given to people who chose Type C, and Yun Seo-hyun feared that, like his mother, that would be his only choice.
The regime treated the people who chose Type C with utter indifference, and with its tyrannical ways and means, it oppressed them in every possible way. The movie “Jung_E” makes us realize that there will come a time, sooner rather than later, when there will be a market for everything. Human beings will become commodities, and their economic status will determine whether they are simply treated as assets or given the respect due to a living being. Full authority over an individual’s brain means that the government can use it in any way it sees fit. We saw how Kronoid had created Yun Jung-Yi action figures, and while they were meant to honor the legacy of a great warrior, they really just wanted to cash in on it. One of the most heartbreaking and discouraging scenes is when we learned that HQ had decided to explore the feasibility of Yun Jung-yi’s sexual application of consciousness rather than using it to create combat clones. When Yun Seo-hyun saw her mother’s clone being objectified and her legacy being insulted, she was devastated. The scene symbolizes how men can always find ways to objectify women, and no matter how advanced technology becomes, it can never change the patriarchal male gaze.
There has been a lot of fuss about data privacy lately, as we have seen how governments and organizations have used it for their own benefit. It may seem like a first world problem, but it can have an unimaginable adverse impact on any individual and rule their lives in ways they cannot fathom. We recently saw how the Donald Trump administration used data from people’s Facebook profiles to influence their elections and turn the tide in his favor. We are rapidly moving towards a reality where the word “privacy” is losing its meaning, and we don’t even realize how the rich and powerful pull the strings and control people’s lives. Personally, for me, the best depiction of how deadly a data breach could be was shown in the Netflix series “House of Cards,” where the Conways used a search engine called Pollyhop to influence people’s choices, such as did the Trump regime. The consequences of a data breach are dangerous and directly impact the lives of each and every individual.
, “Jung_E”, we see that Yun Jung-Yi has survived. We hope he returns, not just to exact revenge on the establishment, but to save the dwindling humanity in the world.