Everything’s Going to Be OK: Source Code and the Dramas of Desire

  • Author(s): David L. Smith
  • When: 2012-10
  • Where: Source
  • Source Code (Duncan Jones, 2011) is a science fiction film concerned with an ambiguity at the heart of religion and its ideas about the meaning of life. It interrogates the kitsch-phrase "everything's going to be OK" to uncover two distinct ideas of heroism, or of how life acquires meaning. One is keyed to narratives of attainment. The other stresses the immediacy or immanence of meaning in our present conditions. The film enacts the tension between these paradigms in ways that parallel cases from Christianity and Buddhism. It explores what remains of religious hope when its literal sense is exposed as illusion. The general thesis of this paper, then, is that Source Code acquires its unusual resonance from a sophisticated meditation on the often ambiguous relations between the meaning of life and the story of life.

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