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The Chinese Sci-Fi Epic The Wandering Earth Could Be a Glimpse at the Future of the Blockbuster

Posted On: Feb 21, 2019   |   Posted By: Slate

It's hard not to get the sense that you're getting a glimpse of the future of movies with a ticket to The Wandering Earth , a Chinese space spectacular that earned more than $300 million in its first week when it opened in its native country earlier this month, and has since opened in U.S. theaters and been acquired by Netflix. Set 2,500 years in the future, it's a hopeful but pragmatic sci-fi picture that understands what American blockbusters are still loath to admit : Responding to climate change will pose infrastructural challenges on a massive order and require drastic measures on a planetary scale. Perhaps it takes a country like China, which is accustomed to a manic rate of construction and grandness of organizational possibility, to seriously consider how dramatically humanity will have to reimagine our ways of life to survive such a catastrophic force. But in this film's dystopian future, it's not heat that threatens life but a life-snuffing frost.

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