Bikes in Film: The Giver

This 2014 adaptation of the 1993, and Newbery Medal winning, novel by Lois Lowry, is billed as a social science fiction. Society has become highly controlled; personal freedom has been brushed under a rug in an effort to abolish conflict. Most notably, memories have been blocked through daily injections. But for one so-called Keeper of Memory and his apprentice, the society is emotionless and painless. The same idea makes its way into film and television periodically (I believe Star Trek alone, examined the concept numerous times), there is nothing really new about the story. This version is fair, but no more than that; it is an interesting concept, but is not developed to the extent that it could, or should, be and so a lot gets glossed over.

As you can see in the still photo below, bikes are a part of the future as depicted in the film. Those bikes are very much like our bikes of today - frame, two wheels, wide handlebars for increased stability, and a saddle for comfort. They have traded out Cannondale's proprietary "Lefty" for a nondescript "Righty", they also all seem to be available in only one color - plain white ' with no other markings. All uniform in other words; no "my bike is better than your bike" arguments. Fits right in with the general theme of eliminating discord and conflict.

The bike sequences are not extensive, but as the film moved toward a conclusion, I thought they might play a more prominent role - when the hero began his quest to transform the society, he did so by bicycle. Apparently, though, the great escape requires more than human power.

In this perfect society everyone gets around by foot or on bike (excluding security, storm troopers, secret police, or whatever term you want to use, who have electric motor bikes and drones at their disposal, of course). This begs the question, if the perfect society is a false one, what then are we to make of the bicycle hegemony (which I would generally regard as a good thing)? Is it a false "good thing" as well? 

Well, it is just a movie after all.


  1. I wish I had the name of the designer who made this.

    1. Wish I could help you with that. I notice at least one or two have been sold on ebay, but have not seen any info on who designed them


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