Ben Adam

Created by Jennifer Bishop, The Pitch 2022

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‘Ben Adam’ is a dramatic noir set in an undefined future. Ben is an android policeman with the mandate to ‘Bring about order through peaceful action.’ In the line of duty, he sees many tragedies but it is only when that which is close to him is lost that he experiences true grief. Rejecting the platitudes of his colleagues to ‘try harder, do better’ Ben determines to find his maker and his understand purposes in creating him. Before entering Friedman Tech, Ben is met by an ex-advisor to the billionaire inventor Elie Friedman, who urges Ben to throw off his slavery and roam free with his superhuman capabilities. Ben knows that the answers he seeks only lie with Elie so seeks out Elie who is at work in his small workshop. Here Ben questions the suffering of innocent people. Elie points out that Ben is no robot, his suffering is due to the fact that Elie has placed a piece of his own heart within him and feels all that he feels. Ben’s mandate is to bring about order through peaceful action through his heart as well as his hands. He is, at least in part, Elie’s flesh and blood.

Biblical Connection

The book of Job is an interesting book because it spans action across heaven and earth. As such it lends itself to fantasy or science fiction and grand questions about human existence and reality. ‘Ben Adam’ pays homage to science fictions stories such as Blade Runner which also explore questions of human consciousness and freewill and in particular humanity’s relationship to their maker. While in stories like the Wizard of Oz, the Wizard is simply a colossal fake and the pilgrims find what they seek within themselves, Ben encounters his maker and finds that his very suffering is due to what is within. Job exposes the catch-22 of traditional wisdom which states, with morality comes blessing. If a human can never be truly moral, why propose that goodness will bring about blessing? More so, is a human thus created to merely suffer? Job demands a face to face with God and is declared righteous despite his disagreement with the traditional wisdom of his friends. Does this mean that God wants a personal relationship with human, not moral goodness and law-keeping? What did God provide in that face to face with Job that gave Job peace? This story posits an answer.