Waking Life is a 2001 American animated drama film directed by Richard Linklater. The film explores a wide range of philosophical issues including the nature of reality, dreams, consciousness, the meaning of life, and free will (existentialism). Waking Life is centered on a young man who wanders through a variety of dream-like realities wherein he encounters numerous individuals who willingly engage in insightful philosophical discussions. Many questions are posed by the film: How can a person distinguish their dream life from their waking life? Do dreams have any sort of hidden significance or purpose?