I think Interstellar might be one of my favourite films of all time. I’ve seen it three or four times now and each time I find it enriching to watch. This film is coated in physics and chemistry with tons of sci-fi goodness, yet at its core there is a surprising element that caught me off guard.
The core of this film isn’t survival or even space. It’s Love.
Love grounds this film down and reminds its viewers that out in the vacuum, made up of bleakness and space, there is something deep within us that makes us human.
It’s something we all desire and long for.
It is Love.
Doctor Amelia Brand captures this:
“Love isn’t something we invented. It’s observable, powerful, it has to mean something… Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.”
At the very heart of the universe, there is Love. Like gravity it compels us and moves us towards the direction we need to go. Brand felt this as she was compelled to see the man she loved on one of the planets, despite having not seen him for over a decade.
It was love that led Cooper to Murph’s bookcase to try to communicate to her and it was love that kept drawing Murph back to the ghost in her bookcase.
Cooper: That’s why I’m here. I’m gonna find a way to tell Murph, just like I found this moment.
TARS: How, Cooper?
Cooper: Love, TARS, love. It’s just like Brand said. My connection with Murph, it is quantifiable. It’s the key!
Love is like gravity to humanity, it connects us and moves us and takes us to where we need to go. It’s the purpose of our very existence. It’s a story that makes sense to us; at the very centre of universe, in the middle of the black hole, there isn’t a whole load of bleak nothingness, there is love.
As John Lennon says:
“Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns it calls me on and on across the universe.”
And it’s an age-old story that Christians have been telling. It’s the story that unfolds within the pages of Genesis One. “In the beginning God“… “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God” (John 1:1)… Love within a community of three right there at the start. Then this love overflows and creates and forms humanity. Time and time again we see this love unfolding itself, reaching down to us. It’s the heartbeat of the universe. And this continues throughout the bible till the very end. It “transcends dimensions of time and space…”
And it’s worth fighting for. Dr Brand echos this by using Dylan Thomas’s poem:
Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Rage against the bleakness and fight against the darkness.
How? In this film it would suggest we do this through love. It’s the way we survive and flourish.
In the Christian story, it tells us that this has been done through love. Costly love that was sacrificial and full of suffering.
Jesus did not go gentle into that good night, he raged and he raged on our behalf.
Cooper understood the cost to save the world, although he was in turmoil over it. The Christian story tells us the same story. Love at the centre. Hope in the darkness.
And it’s a story that’s written into the fabric of our souls that we love to tell over and over again. It is the story of humanity.