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As technology keeps growing, political and economic leaders have utilised cinema
in changing and shaping people’s outlooks either for their own benefit or for the
benefit of the people. Quality translations are also readily available and extremely
affordable for everyone these days, which makes it easy for filmmakers to reach
their target audiences from all corners of the world in their mother tongue.
A good movie can entertain, educate, and inspire the viewer in many ways. Think of
the impact that songs have on people, for example. They can make us think. They
can make us compassionate. They can inspire us to help others and to do good to
and for humanity. Romantic movies, on the other hand, can remind us why love is
important and why it is worth fighting for. They make us cry and laugh at our own
romantic flaws. Crime and action TV shows also warn us about the dangers of
criminal activities, terrorism, and war.
In some cases, movies can even awaken a sense of empathy in people who have
never experienced war firsthand. They may help us feel responsible for our brothers
and sisters living in war-torn countries even as much as we’ve never been there
ourselves. Of particular note for the localisation industry, movies mirror culture.
Movies are an integral part of us; they mirror what we believe and how we coexist
as people. It is easier to see our concerns, attitudes, flaws and strengths in films
than it is to decipher them from our daily interactions. When our prevalent beliefs
and ideologies are challenged in films, we are sometimes able to interrogate
ourselves and embrace change.
Given the recent events with the spread of the novel coronavirus and various
governmental policies for national lockdown across the world, Netflix has
experienced a spike in user demand for streaming. In fact, Netflix and other major
streaming channels, have cut their bandwidth usage to prevent network congestion.
Besides mirroring our diverse cultures, the film has for a long time been shaping
our beliefs and values. A good example is when people copy fashion trends from
movie stars and musicians. It is also common these days to find societies using
figures of speech that are inspired by the film industry. At the very least, film
solidifies selected cultural beliefs and renders some redundant.
The Birth of a Nation was the first film to reveal how a film could be influenced by
the current political and social context while at the same time showing the power
and the scope of film within a society and its affect on historical consciousness.7
The film’s inception, theme, and message did not exist in a vacuum but was likely
influenced by a change in the dynamic of racial relations in America.
In the social and political climate today, historical films are often one of the most
effective ways to investigate our current attitudes, society, and beliefs. For
audiences, it is sometimes easier to look at complex societal issues with a bit of historical distance. While films that deal with heated issues in current society can
be effective, the audience often has its guard up and is less open to considering
different ideas or viewpoints on controversial subjects.
“We do not experience any movie only through our
eyes. We see and comprehend and feel films with our
entire bodily being, informed by the full history and
carnal knowledge of our acculturated sensorium.”
When viewing a film through a historian’s lens, we can be more objective in our
observations of footage from the past. As historians, we can identify whether the
events being filmed did indeed happen, assuming the footage wasn’t doctored. We
must recognise however, that humans are creatures ruled by their senses. We
interact with the world visually, thus it makes sense for a visual medium to have a
more profound emotional impact on us.
There are two basic types of film that can be used as historical artefact with an
entire spectrum of possible expression in-between. The first is “unedited” or “raw”
footage, representation as close to the “true” event as possible and the second is
film which has been carefully crafted and shot with some intention in mind, be it
propaganda or art.
Ideally, movies that provide variations of the past will make people research
what actually happened, to have a more complete understanding of the
events, but it can also lead to some subtle changes in history from the
younger viewers’ point of view.
The studies reveal the influence of films on people’s beliefs and opinions,
stereotypes and attitudes. Movies can have a significant impact on gender
and ethnic stereotypes, change attitudes towards certain groups of
people and cause newly formed opinions on various issues.
Improving the attitudes of young people towards elderly people
is an important social and educational task, the solution of
which involves the use of diverse opportunities. Various social
projects can be implemented for this purpose, for example,
“friendly visitor” types of programs in which young people visit
the elderly but also mass media, including films, which have a potential for a positive impact.
Fiction movies, popular especially among young people, could
contribute to changing existing biased attitudes towards elderly
people. Based on this, the hypothesis states that there is a
connection between watching a positive film about the elderly
and changes in young people’s attitudes towards them in a positive way.