A mis-translation of lines from Interstellar

by ericaeller

With so much huffing and puffing against the ideological underpinnings of of director Christopher Nolan’s 2014 movie Interstellar from some of my favorite sources of critique, I thought I would try my own hand at understanding its flaws through this simple effort at mis-translation. I considered the famous lines that cause us all to stir at their sudden clichéd arrogance and thought about the associations they triggered for me. Granted, my associations are perhaps “hyperbolic” and based on a lot of ideological residue accumulated from the overall dismay I feel towards Hollywood. Nevertheless, I simply re-worked these associations into a series of mis-translations:

Interstellar script: “We are explorers, pioneers, not caretakers … We’re not meant to save the world. We’re meant to leave it.”

Translation 1 anti-feminism: “We are assholes, rapists not honorable human beings … We’re not meant to love women. We’re meant to leave them.”

Translation 2 neo-liberalism: “We favor expansion, colonization, not domestic resolution … We’re not meant to allocate tax money to social programs. We’re meant to steal and profit.

Translation 3 anti-environmentalism: “We are bio-geneticists, astro-physicists, not permaculturists … We’re not meant to understand ecology. We’re meant to deny it.”

Translation 4 ahistoricism: “We are explorers, pioneers, not caretakers. We’re not meant to honor our agreements with the natives. We’re meant to commit genocide.”

Translation 5 aristocratic romanticism: “We are dreamers, visionaries, not pragmatists … We’re not meant to save the animals from extinction, the women from committing suicide, or the lower classes from poverty. We’re meant to miss them when they’re dead.”

Translation 6 derivative art: “We are enthusiasts, plagiarizers not artistic innovators … We’re not meant to enhance film as an art form. We’re meant to copy Stanley Kubrick.”