MovieChat Forums > General Discussion > Do or even can films actually change the...

Do or even can films actually change the world for the better?


Or do they have no effect here whatsoever?

Also, I have read at least one user heavily suggest and imply that, yes, they can, but a few others said no.

Can films stop bad things from happening etc?

And on the opposite side, do some films intentionally lead to copycat violence etc? Or are they not involved in the matter at all? Thanks.

reply

Nope. They're entertainments.

reply

So was, just for example, IMDb user "Bogey Man" correct in his statements for some of his reviews, including Gaspar Noe's films like "I Stand Alone" and "Irreversible", that they are able to change the world for the better?

reply

Nope.

reply

Granted, I agree with him that both "I Stand Alone" (1998) ("Seul Contre Tous") and "Irreversible" (2002) are definitely NOT movies intended for mere entertainment, the aforementioned "Irreversible" in particular is among the most disturbing films of all time, but necessarily able to change the world for the better and stop evil things from happening?

reply

Still nope.

reply

Well, I for one am firmly in the "no" camp.

Nonfiction films, such as documentaries, I could maybe see it; but I am extremely skeptical that you can have fiction, in any medium, that actually serves any purpose that's not to entertain its audience, whatever the form said entertainment may take. In fact, I think making fiction with that kind of mindset only leads to bad fiction, of the kind that concerns itself with preaching to its audience first and foremost, telling a damn story second if at all.

I don't think fiction, be it in film, in a printed page, or any other medium, has the capacity to change the world, nor should it expect (or be expected) to.

reply

I think movies definitely have influence. And sometimes for the better.

"The Battle of Algiers"

reply

I don't believe they can change the world, but the really good ones have a heavy influence on our culture at times.

reply

No. Art is subjective so regardless of the film makers intent it could be interpreted in anyway by the viewer.

I think of the film "Jarhead" where the marines are watching what were intended as anti war films to get pumped up for combat.

As the main character mentions the anti war films failed.

reply

Good films have an effect on me.

reply

Yeah, absolutely. Mae Jemison, for example, credits Star Trek and character Lieutenant Uhura for inspiring her interest in space travel. If a TV show can do that, a film can do that and more.

I think they take their time, working into the psyche, rather than having an instant effect, but they do have an impact on how people think and view the world. It may not be the way that the film maker intends, though.

reply

Also, how do or how can films actually change the world for the better and does this possibility even work, and if it does, does it operate on a small or on a large scale?

reply

In lots of ways.

It can change people's perception over time, which is a good thing. Because people watch and re-watch, the ideas that are woven into a film kind of unfold into the public's mind. So loads of films about homosexuality, about drug use and users, about racism, classism, etc. have impacted on society's perceptions and expectations over time. For example, Philadelphia I think was the first big one to de-stigmatize aids and, in part, homosexuality.

It can also have much more instant, more practical advantages. For example, the Harry Potter films dramatically increased global rates of reading in children.

There's no one way that change operates. It just usually happens gradually, but not always.

reply

I think music had/has a much bigger impact on culture than film, and its been that way for a long time.

reply