S4 E1 Pixar’s “Soul” was heartwarming -- but only for 5 seconds


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“Soul” is a movie about death, about jazz, about longing and limitation. Since its premiere, many people in the U.S. and in China praise the movie for warming their hearts and nourishing their souls. As we immerse ourselves in the positivity the movie brings, we realize that this heartwarming feeling is temporary and its existence is closely tied to the vacuum of the movie’s unrealistic world. Life isn’t as black and white or as easy as the movie depicts it to be.
So how do we navigate the messy journey that is life? How do we live our lives while accepting that death is inevitable? Our hosts Ina and Afra sit down with our old friend and esteemed guest Yangyang Cheng to discuss Pixar’s new movie, “Soul.”

  • 3:33 Afra shares how the movie prompted her to think about death
  • 6:28 Yangyang talks about her personal experience with the movie and its faults in having a Black main character, but ultimately the movie isn’t a Black movie at all
  • 13:49 The movie depicts life and death as choices that we can actively make, which isn’t realistic at all
  • 17:54 what is the “purpose” of life? Or are we talking about the “meaning” of life? Yangyang shares how the meaning of life can be inherently a capitalist notion as modern society associate life meaning with one’s career
  • 27:00 the concept of time in life and how it helps us define our lives, with a nod to “The Good Place”
  • 38:52 sometimes we believe there’s a higher being in existence and as humans, we always strive to achieve this higher ground as a part of our legacy on this Earth
  • 40:05 Yangyang muses on writing, self-actualization, and the meaning of life!
  • 44:50 “Soul” has a main character who’s Black, but ultimately it’s a mainstream story that’s inherently white

P.S. We debuted a new intro for season 4! Tremendous thanks to our fantastic editor Joshua for custom-editing this intro for us.

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