Debate: Impact on society of movies
For thousands of years and even today, literature has been instrumental in providing the material for reflection on what it means to be human. Ever since the Lumiere brothers first exhibited the craft of film making, films became a visual alternative. In the early years films were extremely primitive by today’s standards, but were thrilling just the same. Suddenly, the world began to see itself. The visuals of the films, the movement of the films opened up the world on so many levels that it is impossible for us to comprehend today. People were awed and infatuated by it. It must have been like lifting a veil on the entire world. The New-York evening world states: “For the first time in the history of the world it is possible to see what a kiss looks like."
Early decades of the film industry produced movies that reflected aspects of the society that were beautiful and ugly, traditional and progressive. It allowed society to see themselves as they actually appeared. Early films showed women as the society said they were. The way women behaved and contributed, and this contribution as society put it, was restricted to making babies and attending to needs of husband, was portrayed through the camera. Regrettably, women too believed this to be true.
For some time now there is a steady growth in the populous of filmmakers that took the liberty to open up the issues of racism, terrorism, homosexuality, government and religion on a global stage. Filmmakers are convinced that their serious and somber movies are not just for entertainment or art, but play a role in changing people’s thinking, not to say in some cases their lives. Ang Lee, director of “The life of Pi”, strongly believes that movies have power to change thinking process of people at both conscious and sub-conscious level. Is there really such a power in movies that can change the way masses think or is it just a gimmick of filmmakers?
Apparently, not everyone...