Human made structures such as the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, the Colosseum, the Great Pyramid, and many others around the world that have lasted through the ages, inspire awe because of their scale, purpose, design, and history. These feats of human imagination and ambition also elicit another kind of awe – of the human cost in building them.
This week I watched the film Cloud Atlas, which is based on the David Mitchell novel of the same name. I recently read the novel and really liked it, so, I wasn’t keen to watch the movie. After all, film versions of much-loved novels rarely live up to expectations.
I was somewhat reluctant to watch it for another reason: I had read that in scenes set in a futuristic dystopian Korea, characters who are supposed to be Korean are played by Caucasian actors made up to look Korean. Why in this day and age would you use Caucasian actors for non-Caucasian characters? In a time when communication and travel between countries and continents is the easiest it has ever been, why couldn’t the film-makers hire actors with the right heritage or ‘look’ for the role?