Movies that change your life
0 comment Wednesday, July 9, 2014 |
In a receent post, 'Living in the past where the rent is cheaper', I alluded to the power of the arts to change people's thinking.
So over at this liberal gathering-place I came across this thread, which illustrates the power, for good or ill, of popular culture or art to change people's lives, or at least to change their views on certain questions.
Movies have been just one facet of pervasive worldview-changing factors in my life over the last several years. That said, here are some of the ones that have moved me most:
Crash helped me see the pervasiveness of racism in America, and that with regard to the injustices of the world, we each have qualities of both victims and perpetrators, both innocent and guilty.
Donnie Darko has a certain something that helps me both laugh and rage about the absurdities of life. It reminds me that the Unknown is not something to fear but to embrace, and that those who claim to have certainty are either lying or hiding their existential fear.
Rules of Engagement was one of the first films to make me question the morality of demonizing "the other" (in this case, Muslims).
About a Boy moves me for its honest take on the vapidity of a selfish, consumeristic existence.
Phone Booth has one of the most convincing scenes of repentance I've ever seen.
Rashomon (and its sort-of-remake, Hero) show me that "truth" is in the eye of the beholder.
Lady in the Water and The Science of Sleep remind me of the power and the beauty of imagination, creativity, myth-making, world-creation.
Hotel Rwanda makes me hope that one person can make a difference.
Half Nelson helped me understand (a bit better) how challenging change is, and how the machinery of society can keep people entrenched in old/bad habits.
Punch-Drunk Love and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind show me that love needs no reason.
Legends of the Fall, Into the Wild, and A River Runs Through It remind me of my need to experience a full, deep life; of the raw power and spirituality of nature; and of the ultimate emptiness of living for the American Dream.
Munich and American History X taught me that violence is a downward spiral, that hate begets hate.
It does seem that Hollywood is doing a bang-up job of promoting a worldview, and their targeted demographic is very much influenced by it.
Or would such a person still have the same leftist views, without the above-mentioned movies? Do people really change their political orientation via movies, or do they seek out movies and other art that validates their already-chosen viewpoints?
I can remember when I was younger that certain movies affected me at least for that phase of my life; however I was already inclined in a certain direction and gravitated to movies that emphasized what I already believed. I don't know if there was any movie that truly 'changed my life,' at least not permanently.
Maybe after some thought I can come up with some movies that truly did change my life or at least my way of viewing life.
Any comments, readers? What, if any, movie changed your life? Or do movies change minds, or lives?
I would like to believe that movies, or any art form, can reach people on an emotional or aesthetic level in a way that dry polemics can't.
The challenge is: can we restore sounder values and ideals via the arts in any way?

Labels: , , , ,