Thursday, October 9, 2014

Thursday cinema: Contact

Let's take this as a small series of movie involving woman scientist. I know you'd love that. Apparently from the IMDB database, woman scientist have 22% of appearance which is pretty good knowing that in reality high level woman scientist only have 25% of the jobs. If you want the exact data on this topic, it's here (2006)

So the first movie of this series is: Contact

Story: Astrophysicist, Dr. Eleanor "Ellie" Arroway is fascinated by a field of research that others think doomed, she is listening the universe in search of as she says it herself: "little green men". Her funding is cut by one of her ancient mentors and she has to fight her way to get a private grant to get radio antenna time in New Mexico. The problem is she only managed to listen to washing machines... Oops. When they threaten to get her funding cut once more, she receives a strange signal from Vega: prime numbers. Follows a scientific, political and theological race to the discovery of Aliens.

My feelings: This is one of my favorite movies. I watched it many times. I like how it developed from a little girl encouraged to do science to a brilliant woman trying to push the world toward a goal it is not ready for. I like that Ellie is a strong character who wouldn't deny her convictions to reach her goal. This movie also shows a great deal about the adversity, women generally face in the scientific world. Even when Ellie's team is the one who made the discovery, even when Ellie was the one in charge of the project, she struggled to get through to the general audience as the community prefer to listen to her ancient mentors (the same who said the project was doomed and that it was helping her carrier to cut her funding) This movie shows how difficult it is for a woman to be taken seriously in the scientific world. 

Fun bit: Bill Clinton really gave the speech appearing in the movie.

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