After Earth Prompts Discussion on Estranged Father-Son Bonding and the Future of Earth
I’ve been looking forward to the latest Will Smith film. He’s great in sci-fi and to see him passing the ‘action star’ torch to his biological son is outstanding. The time has come and we’re all waiting to see how Jaden will make his father proud. (Yes, in my opinion his ‘The Karate Kid’ reboot was just a warm up.)
The film After Earth (originally known as 1000 A.E.) is a science-fiction thriller film starring real-life father and son Will and Jaden Smith as Cypher and Kitai Raige. Will also has the role of producer and co-writer. It is co-written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and will be distributed by Columbia Pictures on May 31st.
The storyline, as stated by Columbia Pictures, reads, “One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.”
I’m particularly interested in the relationships between the father and the son. As a boy matures and grows into the person he is meant to be, there is greater opportunity for the father-son relationship to get a bit rocky. It’s even more stressing when the father and son don’t know each other very well. An estrangement between father and child affects not only the two involved, but the entire family.
A good father is critical to the optimal development and well-being of a child. Father’s role is more than that of economic provider, now it includes nurturing, caregiving, and emotional support in both obvious and subtle ways. Successful fatherhood correlates strongly with many attributes of children successfully growing up: Healthy child development. This includes physical and mental health habits, success in school, self-respect and self-esteem, respect for others and for appropriate authority, constructive social and peer activities, as well as the avoidance of substance abuse, delinquency, and other forms of high-risk behaviors.
It will be interesting to see how the Legendary General Cypher Raige and his son, Kitai connect when faced with their mortality. Please check out the trailer and make a point to see After Earth in theaters on May 31st.
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