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The Art Of Killing Dreams

[ 3 min read ]

Last scene from the movie The Truman Show:

TRUMAN: Who are you?

CHRISTOF: I’m the creator.

Truman looks up to the “heavens”.

TRUMAN: The creator of what?

CHRISTOF: A show — that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions.

TRUMAN (incredulous): A show. Then who am I?

CHRISTOF: You’re the star.

Truman struggles to take it all in.

TRUMAN: Nothing was real.

CHRISTOF: You were real. That’s what made you so good to watch.

CHRISTOF: You can leave if you want. I won’t try to stop you. But you won’t survive out there. You don’t know what to do, where to go.

A wave of doubt washes over Truman’s face.

TRUMAN (referring to the photo of his love Silvia, the only real thing in his life whom Christof removed from the show crew): I have a map.

CHRISTOF: Truman, I’ve watched you your whole life. I saw you take your first step, your first word, your first kiss. I know you better than you know yourself. You’re not going to walk out that door.

TRUMAN: You never had a camera in my head.

CHRISTOF: Truman, there’s no more truth out there than in the world I created for you — the same lies and deceit. But in my world you have nothing to fear.

Earlier in the movie Christof is talking to an interviewer who quizzes him about the show.

INTERVIEWER: Why do you feel that Truman’s never come close to discovering the true nature of his world?

CHRISTOF: We accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. As the show expanded, naturally we were forced to manufacture ways to keep Truman in Seahaven — demonstrating that every venture is accompanied by a risk.

We might think that Truman’s story was exceptional. Sure, it was exceptional in that from his birth and for the next 30 years he has been held captive and was a star of a popular show without even knowing about it.

But then again, this story is not that different from how millions of people around the world parent their children. They present them with a certain reality and demand that they accept it. They call ‘real’ the things that have been part of their world so far and try to protect their children from everything that is new and thus risky.

By providing them with their map, which according to them is the only way they can be sure that the children won’t get lost, they deprive them of the possibility of exploring the world and coming up with new definitions or solutions.

In other words, their children are being deprived of the possibility of creating their own realities.