I’m not the type of person who goes around looking for racism. I’m fairly oblivious to it really. It has to be pretty noticeable before I start to have these thoughts. I tend to just watch movies and enjoy them without constantly thinking about what it all means. I spent far too much time here thinking about the meaning of things to bother when I’m merely trying to relax. However, when I saw Voyagers, even I couldn’t miss the racism.
This 2020 release was clearly meant to be a teen movie of the summer but summer was canceled and now it’s HBO Max. I just like space movies and disasters. It sounded fun and I was in the mood for fun. Earth is dying and people are trying to save humanity? I’m in, let’s go for it.
The plot of this movie is pretty simple. Earth is dying due to climate change and other planetary changes. The governments of the world decide to create a space ship to save the best of humanity. They gather DNA and create babies who have the right genetics to carry forward humanity. Their job isn’t to do anything other than to live, breed, and have children that will live long enough to make it to a new planet. They are educated and given the best of everything in order to accomplish this one mission: live long enough to have children that will populate the new Earth. When it becomes obvious that the mission needs to start sooner rather than later the lead scientist decides that he will raise all the children on his own, en route to the new Earth knowing that he will die before they arrive. This is crucial because the children spend the bulk of their childhood on a space ship with only him and various media as an influence.
The scary part of the story kicks off when one of the boys rebels (as young men do) and the only adult dies in a freak accident. It becomes lord of the flies in no time as the late teen/early 20s kids, who have known almost nothing else besides this space ship (by design) need to suddenly be responsible for all the duties to keep the ship and themselves alive without the guiding hand of an adult. A nice metaphor for burgeoning adulthood. However, the racism starts at this point as well because, per usual Hollywood, the only person who understands what is happening is the lone black girl and no one listens to her.