Contact takes the sometimes opposing forces of science and religion and puts them in conversation. The movie is based on a 1985 novel by Carl Sagan about Ellie Arroway, a SETI scientist who discovers a radio signal that could suggest extraterrestrial life. During her search she encounters Palmer Joss, a Christian philosopher who challenges her convictions as a scientist. Ellie’s pursuit of meaning outside of religion — an oftentimes lonely endeavor — was an experience Drew Hammond had never seen portrayed in a movie before. A high school teacher, Hammond says the movie granted him permission to stay curious and pursue the questions he has about the world — and it continues to shape how he interacts with his students.
Drew Hammond is an English teacher at Eagan High School in Eagan, Minn. He’s also an award-winning public speaking coach, a published playwright, and a former stand-up comedian. He is featured in the documentary “Figures of Speech,” which is out on Netflix.
Find the transcript at https://onbeing.org/series/this-movie-changed-me/
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter at https://onbeing.org/tmcmletter/