Sometimes science fiction offers a creative reflection on what is truly important in life—living each moment as a gift. In the Oscar-nominated film, "Arrival," Louise (Amy Adams) shares her special gift of communication, not only through language, which she teaches as a linguist, but also through the spiritual depths of human emotions.
The film begins with the news of twelve elliptical alien spaceships that have landed in various areas around the globe. The military calls on Louise and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to establish communication with the aliens. They go before the aliens to learn their purpose on earth and to help decipher the sounds and circular symbols the aliens show them. Afraid though she is, Louise courageously eliminates another barrier by stripping out of her protective gear so the creatures can see her face. Since words don't provide common communication, Louise believes emotion alone can give the humans and aliens a way to understand each other and begin asking sincere questions.
At first, all the nations around the world encountering the aliens communicate together about the information they learn. Soon, though, they begin to shut down their technology feeds out of fear. National leaders begin making their own decisions, even if that means all out war with the aliens. Fear drives each of the nations to work in isolation and fear ultimately is the cause of war and violence.
Louise believes that the aliens are on earth for peaceful reasons but fear of the unknown is seeping into the U.S. military and they want to cut short the attempts at communication. Louise defies orders and enters the alien craft by herself. There, the aliens recognize that her gift of "sight," the ability to see the past and future come together, is what gives her the courage to choose to live life as a gift. With her ability to see beyond, Louise convinces all the nations of the world to come together in collaborative peace, averting a global war. Having conveyed their message, the aliens leave and peace reigns.
Through her gift, Louise also sees her beautiful daughter who eventually dies of cancer. Seeing this, she still lives life to the fullest, not in fear, but with great courage and love. It is because of her spiritual depth that Louise is able to fully embrace each moment as it comes. She chooses life despite the promise of pain and death. Her courage gives peace to others and her choice to welcome new life into the world shows her choosing to find joy in the moments of life.