FILMS ARE EFFECTIVE INFLUENCES ON POLITICS 9
Filmsare effective Influences on Politics
Thefilming industry has contributed to the development and changes inthe society in mat aspects. The impact of film making in the past andmodern societies has ranged from the economic and socialtransformation to political changes. However, one of the mostsignificant impacts of the film making is the political significanceand influence to the public. Films are political in nature, but theextent of their political significance is different from film tofilm. Therefore, the filming industry can be a tool for politicalactivism. The discussion in this paper will illustrate that the filmshave an impact on politics and they are used in political activism.By analyzing case films, this essay will discuss how film makinginfluences politics and whether the significance has been a success.
Influenceof Films on Politics
Filmsinfluence politics by creating awareness of the political situationsthat the society is experiencing. The audience relates to films if itcontains experiences and circumstances that reflect the context ofthe society. Politically, a film reveals to the people how theleaders are behaving and how their actions impacts on the society. Inthe “Turtles Can Fly”, the film creates awareness of theexperiences of the Kurds during the aftermath of the fall of SadamHussein and the entry of American soldiers. This awareness influencesthe political ideologies of people towards the political leaders whoare responsible for the events that are reflected from a film.
Bycreating political awareness, films influence the opinion of peopletowards certain directions in political processes such as elections.In the current American scenario, the U.S senate is contemplatingbanning the film “Blended”by comedian Adam Sandler (The Civilian, 2014). Their move is informedby a perception that the film will significantly impact on thecongressional elections later in the year. In the film, Sandlerexpresses that America is on the wrong turn by riding on an ostrichon a certain scene (The Civilian, 2014). This influences the mind ofpeople that president Obama is taking the country on the wrong way.The concern by the senators shows how powerful a film can influencethe ideologies of people and change the election process.
Moreover,films provide a reflection of what happens in the political officesand the decisions made. Some films portray the political thrills thathappen in the offices of power and the complacency that some leadersin the middle of social injustice. For instance, the film,“Mississippi Burning” shows how some leaders supported the socialinjustices. With this film in mind, many people would vote for thepolitical leaders that condemn such racial injustices and vote outthose who support racism. According to Germany (2010), the situationthat reflected the “Mississippi Burning” film indicated the needfor civil rights. It is in this situation that the film informspeople to the extent that racism can divide the society. This isbecause the awareness created by the films tends to paint somepolitical leaders as well while others as corrupt. As a result,people tend to prefer certain
Filmsinfluence the politics by imparting to the viewers the content andthe ideology communicated by the video. A film sends a message justlike any other tool of communication that has communicativeabilities. According to Nelmes(2012),a film gives the viewer a powerful message because it communicatesboth physically and intellectually. A political message iscommunicated through the storyline of the movie and the politicalideologies of the characters (Tresspass, 2010). In the film Vfor Vendetta, the main message is the importance of radical politicalactivism in the fight for freedom (Brian,2010).According to the film, the most effective way to fight oppressivepolitical regimes is through radical and violent measure.
Theideology that is communicated in this film is based on the storylineand the circumstances that the main actor finds himself. Therefore,the audience gets the message and conceives the ideology of the filmthrough the inspiration of the circumstances and characters. Byfollowing the storyline of a movie, a person gains the ideas that arecoded in the fill and formulates an ideology out of the message.According to Nichols (2010), the use of films to communicate a publicmessage is unavoidable because films reflect the society. If a filmhas a political message, the view will be influenced by the politicalorientation of the film. As a result, the audience captures thepolitical ideology of the director of the film.
Filmsinfluence the politics by passing the message to the masses. This isbecause films have an irresistible ability to reach an expansiveaudience that they reach (Barsam, 2003). Once released, a filmcommunicates to the viewers in an indiscriminate manner, as long asthe audience watches the film. According toNelmes (2012), afilm reaches a vast audience, which limits the ability to control theextent of influence that a movie can have on the global audience. Forinstance, in the movie “TurtlesCan Fly,” the film communicates to the Arab community with awestern style media outlets through the satellites set by Satellite(Ghobadi,2005).The film shows the Islamic society that the flow of information isimportant for the establishment of different political ideologies.
Whilesome movie does not communicate its message directly, others inspirepeople with direct messages and actions by the characters. This isclearly brought out in the comparison of the two movies. In the movie“V for Vendetta”, the main character V communicates his messageof freedom almost directly by his terrorist actions in the quest forpolitical space and equality (Brian,2010).On the other hand, the film “Turtles Can Fly” presents adifferent political message after the fall of Sadam Hussein (Ghobadi,2005).The film shows the elements of enjoyment of free political spaceafter the fall of Sadam Hussein. Therefore, the audience would getinspired indirectly, to fight for such freedom and change. Thepolitical change is evident when Satellite introduces the westernmedia through the connection of the satellites in the village.
AccordingtoNelmes (2012), filmsimpact on the political situation in the country of coding similarcircumstances that people are facing and presenting them through avideo. The influence comes when the film offers a solution in thevideo that people do not have in reality. In the quest to achieve thesolution that the characters in the film achieved, people gain thepolitical realization that they have the solution (Foy,2008).In the film “V for Vendetta”, the scenes show a fascist state,just like many undemocratic nations that are present in the modernsociety. Through the film, the director connects to the audience,especially those who are undergoing such undemocratic situations andlack of political space.
However,the film gives the audience a solution by presenting it through thecharacter V. In the film, V fights the oppressive regime by usingterrorist tactics and finds allies who also believe in the samecause. Through this solution in the film, the people in who are inoppressive political regimes in the real world are inspired to fightfor their freedom(Rosenbaum,1997).Byadopting radical measures such as those used by V, the people aredirectly influenced by the film to change their political systems.This shows the extent that films influence people in the society andhow powerful the media can be as a political tool.
Filmsimpact on politics by communicating the responsibility or theirresponsibility of the political systems and leaders. Films pinpointthe actions of the political leaders that result in undesirablesituations in the society (Foy,2008).Films influence the political orientation of people by illustratingthe consequences that befall the society due to poor politicaldecisions. In the film "TheDay After Tomorrow,"the director indirectly illustrates the level of disasters that canbefall the world if the wrong decisions are made today (Kakoudaki,2011).While this film was not intended to carry any political message, theintention of the director was to make people care about globalwarming.
Filmsaffect the political decisions of people by making them conscious ofthe issues that affect the world and the society. According toPhillips(2009),some films try to address the issues that matter to the society andgive direction. This direction leads to the formation of politicalideology or orientation by the audience. In the film "TheDay After Tomorrow,"the director intends to make the audience conscious of global warmingand understand the consequences of human actions (Kakoudaki,2011).Through watching the film, a person tends to prefer political leaderswhose policies are pro-environment and vote out those whose policiesare against the conservation of the environment.
Effectivenessof Film impacting on Politics
Toinfluence the political context, a film must include a message thatis coded on the storyline and communicated to the audience. Theeffectiveness of the film to communicate to the audience is based onthe director who makes the film. According to Barsam(2003),the director of a film moulds the elements of the film that connectto the viewer. In this regard, the effectiveness of a film to impacton politics depends on the director’s ability to formulate themessage to the viewer. Through the combination of various elements offilming, a director is able to prepare the message and pass it to theviewer, either directly or indirectly. For instance, some films givedirect messages through documentaries of feature videos.
Somedirectors prepare a film on purpose for the viewer to get thepolitical influence that is intended for the production. In the film“V for Vendetta”, the director intended the viewer to identifywith the extremes of undemocratic political regimes. In the same way,the director intends to communicate to the viewer that the solutionto the oppression in the circumstances may be violent means. This isthe message that the director of the movie codes in the form of themain character V (McTeigue,2006).In addition, the same scenario is replicated in the film "TheDay After Tomorrow,"the director intends the audience to care about global warming.Through the films, the directors of different films are able tocommunicate significant politically relevant messages to theaudience.
Therefore,the society highly needs political films in the cinema. This isbecause they are important tools of sharing the sentiments of thepeople in the larger world and address their issues. As a result, theleaders at the societal, national or global level are able to realizethe predicaments of the people. Political films are tools that can beused to communicate politically volatile messages even in arestrictive society (Rosenbaum,1997).Therefore, they are important to the society because they give analternative of presenting issues to the world. In addition, thepolitical films are important to the world because they are tools ofexchanging ideologies from one society to another. Therefore, thecinema should have more political films as long as they are relevantto the society today.
Filmsare important tools for political influence and elements of politicalactivism. This is because films contain content and messages that arecommunicated to the audience. Films are able to influence politics bycreating awareness about the political issues and also communicatethe predicaments that affect people. Through films, people are ableto identify with the issues that affect them and learn the possiblesolutions to the political problems. In addition, films communicatethe responsibilities that political leaders have on the people andthe consequences of irresponsibility in such political circumstances.The most significant influence of films on politics is theideological impact that a political film leaves among the audience.It is the affective significance that political films have in thesociety that makes them important for cinema today.
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