Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

‘Argo’

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on November 5, 2012

Believing lies so much that your life depends on it, combined with powers of persuasion can be life-saving. So goes the tale of this wonderfully done movie, based on a true story, where a fake movie becomes the lifeboat for six American hostages. This, along with the compassionate Canadian government, leads to a feel-good story, told in the midst of bestial hatred for American. What is so gripping about this movie is that the absurd becomes real. At first, the notion that one could create a fake movie which peacefully takes out six American hostages, seems implausible, or as they say in the movie “the least bad idea”. As the plot unfolds, the investment in the idea builds to a fever pitch, where the audience, along with the cast, feels like this just has to work. This dramatic arc works so well, since it gives us hope that creative thinking, “out of the box,” as they say, sometimes, just sometimes, is a remarkable capacity. There was no good algorithm for how to get these hostages to safety, so they had to invent one. I am left to thinking that is so undervalued in our society, where automation is pushed so vehemently. I am deeply in favor of using technology to eliminate human error, but at the same time, we need to find a way to preserve our ability to create new ideas, where the old ideas simply fail. This movie gave me hope. Thank you, Ben Affleck.

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