Ambivalence to Technology in Jeunet’s Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

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Although at one level Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain is a sweet, attractive film about a young Parisian doing good deeds, it also offers a compelling analysis of the role of technology in our modern lives. The film paints a world where machines and a mechanistic worldview are appealing because humans have a desire to control their destinies but threatening because humans value freedom. The work of French social theorist Jacques Ellul is especially useful in analyzing these facets of the film as technology and freedom were consistent themes in his various books on the modern milieu.