The Omega Films

I found this question on Reddit, and I thought I'd regurgitate it here:

"Humanity is wiped out. What 10 movies would you suggest the advanced alien race that discovers our civilization watch to understand humanity?"

Just imagine: like in Superman, you are fully aware of the impending end of the world. But instead of saving the life of your only son, you schlep on down to the miraculously-still-in-business Blockbuster Video, and save ten films instead. And don't overthink this; just assume translations and subtitles are universal, region codes are non-existent, and the aliens have the required technology to watch these movies. What ten movies do you save?

I'm not asking you to pick your 10 favorite movies, and I'm not asking you to pick the 10 greatest movies. I'm asking you to pick ten films to represent Earth and the human race. Who we were, what we were, and what we meant we said "Humanity."


12 Angry Men
We fought for the truth. We believed in our fellow man. Even the corrupted and the criminal deserved the briefest benefit of the doubt. It was so easy to cast aspersions on others; somebody had to stand up for the wretched, the dark, the castoffs and the unwanted. Because among them may be an innocent. And we never give up in the name of innocence.

High Noon
We all wanted to be heroes. We all want to stand up for the little man, and protect him from oncoming evil. We knew it was dangerous, but we felt an obligation. A calling. Even if the little man we're protecting wouldn't stand beside us, we would fight the necessary fight. It was a thankless job, and frequently a dangerous one, but we did it nonetheless.

Schindler's List
We weren't perfect. We all made mistakes. Sometimes individually, sometimes as a nation. Sometimes we let our mistakes get out of hand. Even in mankind's darkest moments, the seemingly small actions of one man were able to shine through. True heroes made true sacrifices, and that made all the difference.

Inherit the Wind
We put our faith in two elements: What we believed, and what we knew. And often times, the two worlds collided. What was truth? What was folly? How did science and religion coexist when they seemingly contradicted each other, and how did the followers of the two opposing factions withstand each other? Ironically, in our eternal quest for truth, we neglected to answer our own questions.

To Kill a Mockingbird
As children, we saw life as simplistic and idealized to perfection. But there came a time when we matured, and saw the world for what it was. There was evil in this world, but there was always good to contrast it. There were victims, and there were victimizers. There were misunderstood people, feared, but good at heart. But there were also people in high standing who were rotten and repugnant. While it's not fair to blame these circumstances on any particular cause, it's easy to see how a childhood dies when confronted by them.

We had freedoms. We had pleasures. We had so many luxuries and extravagances we seldom bothered to think of negative consequences. And we were lazy. My god, were we lazy. Surely, somebody somewhere was fixing all the problems. We couldn't be bothered. We were enjoying our own lives. Somebody was doing all the dirty work for us. Yeah...

We were always searching for new ways to pass the time, to have fun, to experience new and exciting boundaries. We liked to indulge. Sometimes destructively. Our bodies were fragile, but we never had any qualms about pushing them to the brink, just for a fleeting, momentary high. Oh, but we weren't all bad. Some of us realized our destructive natures. Some wanted out. Some were willing to pay the price. Or at least try.

Throughout our existence, there was much immigration, emigration, exodus and diaspora. Our slight differences made us stupid, arrogant, prejudiced, and spiteful. For the longest time, we refused to accept a human life was a human life. And while we were slow to change, we eventually did so. Step by step. Inch by inch. One fight at a time.

Bicycle Thieves
Many were content with the bare necessities; a roof over our head, clothes on our back, food on our plates, and a family to love. And yet, the simplest of achievements was never an assurance. There were always people willing to muck up the works. Disobedience, malfeasance, and small acts of petty larceny all had the power to turn the life of a single man upside down. Simply put, playing by the rules was a loser's game. Life is brutal, and existence is suffering.

Wild Strawberries
Despite the pits and valleys, we all knew one thing: our time was short. Everyone dead once lived, and everyone living would die. It was such a short period of time; what was the purpose? Was there a purpose? Was there reason? Did we even matter? Did humanity matter? Maybe not on a cosmic sense, maybe not even in a worldwide sense. But in a close, immediate and deeply personal sense, yes. And that was all that mattered.

Here lies the human race. We existed. We mattered.