Audiovisual input and output devices are in abundance these days and so are movies and films. Everyone watches videos be it on TV, social media, or cinemas. The film industry is arguably one of the most impactful sectors in modern society. Sitcoms and comedy shows make us laugh, psychological thrillers help us see the world from an improved perspective, and historical films help us understand where we’ve come from as a people. Every video and every film reflects society and transforms opinions.
The Undisputed Raw Power of Movies
The power of audiovisuals has been manifested and exploited politically, socially, and economically throughout history. Leaders such as Adolf Hitler, for example, successfully used films as propaganda tools during World War II. Facts like these show the raw power of film: An immense power that has even caused revolutions.
As the technology keeps growing, political and economic leaders have utilized cinema in changing and shaping people’s outlooks either for their own benefit or for the benefit of the people. Audiovisual 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.
This post explores 7 ways in which cinematic art affects society and the modern world.
1. Movies inspire us
A good movie will entertain, educate, and inspire the viewer in many ways. Think of the impact that songs have on people, for example. They make us think. They make us compassionate. They inspire us to help others and to do good to and for humanity.
Romantic movies, on the other hand, remind us why love is important and why it is worth fighting for. They make us cry and laugh at our own romantic flaws, consequently helping us understand our partners and family members more. They make life worth living- they make us feel alive. That’s without forgetting how affordable transcription services have made it easy for people to watch and understand movies that teach meditation and mindfulness, most of which are in Asian languages.
There are many films whose plots give us reasons to rise up every morning and venture into the world with hope and optimism. They encourage us to conquer personal pains and to impact positively on other people’s lives. Movies such as The Pursuit of Happiness (2006) and The Bucket List (2007), for example, have inspired their viewers to work towards making the world better for everyone.
2. Movies can create awareness on multiple aspects of life
People need to be reminded about the importance of formal education as well as co-curricular school activities such as art and sports. School-related films underline this importance and give education stakeholders ideas on how to improve education systems in different parts of the world. Besides that, film brings us to understand the negative effects of drugs, alcohol, and substance abuse. Crime and action TV shows also warn us about the dangers of criminal activities, terrorism, and war.
Speaking of war, movies help people understand the atrocity of living homeless and miserably in refugee camps. Movies awaken the senses of empathy in people who have never experienced civil war firsthand. They help us feel responsible for our brothers and sisters living in war-torn countries even as much as we’ve never been there ourselves. This is the awareness that has fuelled the growth of so many charity organizations and trust funds.
3. Movies mirror culture
Every movie is set and developed in a particular culture. They are an integral part of us; they mirror what we believe in 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 able to interrogate ourselves and embrace change. And thanks to audiovisual translations, people from all over the world are able to watch movies and understand the cultures of faraway communities. That has, in turn, helped us to become more united even when our cultures are so different and diverse.
4. Movies shape culture
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.
5. Movies teach us history
Most history movies are fact-based and, even for the few that are fictional, they still depict a realistic and fantastic picture of how the world was before the invention of the audiovisual devices that we know today. They connect the modern world with past generations.
A good example is the Vietnam War movies that explain what transpired back in the day and help today’s generation to appreciate the significances of the war, both positive and negative. Add transcription services to these movies and the history comes out even clearer. Transcribed historical videos support learning by connecting viewers to the proper subject matter without losing the context.
And then the negatives
6. Desensitization of sympathetic feelings
Many social psychologists today hold the opinion that movies erode sympathetic feelings in people by making violence and the suffering of other people seem acceptable. Bystander apathy is on the rise, with many people in the larger urban areas opting to passively watch as people injure or kill one another. This tendency of not helping the victim or Okaying violence has grown as a result of the media desensitizing sympathetic feelings.
7. Parenting challenges
Romantic movies make sex look “cool”. Crime movies make lying seem calculative. There are also genres that normalize stealing and dishonesty. Teenagers are now able to access pornographic content online and watch songs that advocate for drug and substance abuse. All this content is misleading to young boys and girls, but parents can’t seem to find reliable, foolproof strategies to stop their kids from accessing it.
Movies are evidently very impactful in today’s world. And because the positive impacts outweigh the negatives, it is our duty to choose the right content for the right audience and to protect young minds from the content that would corrupt their feelings and opinions.