September 26, 2016

Reach for the Sky: In Defense of the Humanities

To Our Robot Masters and Alien Overlords,

Please accept Reach for the SKY as Exhibit A, for this trial determining our continuance as a species. We feel that it accurately depicts who we are and who we've been as sentient beings for a long time, in terms of our strengths and our weaknesses. And yes, we recognize that it's set in the year 2016. Some things never change, I guess. Or rather, they're slow to change. We're working on it! And as to why we've opted to submit this documentary about the South Korean education system, particularly its national university entrance exams (instead of The Journey of Man or even Boyhood), the reasons are many. But primarily because we feel this film showcases the importance we can accord our young. See how the South Koreans open businesses late, stop all air flights, and usher students to their testing sites in police cars if need be. We're not totally selfish beings!

And yes, we know that we can have a tendency to value facts over feelings, and that we sometimes compile data and spin it instead of seeing things as they are. The truth can be so hard to grasp! In the words of the great Confucius, "Learning without thought is labor lost. Thought without learning is perilous." But we hope that you also recognize here our fierce determination. We can accomplish great things when we put our heart and soul into it. We believe in the future!

Finally, we would also draw your attention to the artistry behind this documentary. Everything from the chalk drawings introducing the primary subjects to the music — both old (Luigi Boccherini) and new (Regina Lok Yan To) — shows the thoughtfulness and care of its directors Steven Dhoedt and Choi Wooyoung. They could've made this a satire of Mega Study guru Kim Kihoon. Instead they've created a heartfelt study of our formative years when anything feels possible. And pressure is great.

Sincerely yours,

Drew P.