Let’s do a movie review. In the past month, I have seen 3 movies: Unbroken, American Sniper, and The Imitation Game. Of the 3, The Imitation Game was by far the best. I like movies that teach us to appreciate each other, not find another reason to dislike each other.
For instance, American Sniper was violent and it did very little to heal the widening rift between different cultures. I sense that people went into that movie with a particular mindset around the current world conflicts and left with ample evidence supporting their point of view. If you thought the world is full of sheeps and wolves and if you don’t take out the wolves, the sheep will be at risk, there was ample evidence to support your point of view. Likewise, if you thought violence is an overused option, you had ample evidence to support that point of view. I don’t many people had their mindset changed as a result of the movie. Meanwhile, I am not sure what is to be gained by bringing the world viewing audience a ring side seat to this horrific conflict while it is still an active conflict. How will that calm the waters?
Unbroken was a good movie about the human spirit, particularly of one man, Olympian Louis Zamperini who was captured and tortured by the Japanese. One Japanese prison guard, in particular, tried to break his spirit with untold cruelty but was not successful. This is a story about human courage to be sure. And it is also a story about abusing our fellow man. The fact that the story is removed by over 75 years does make it a little less raw as I don’t believe this will incite hatred of the Japanese in this current generation.
The Imitation Game was my favorite. The real time footage of the German assault on England was frightening. I can’t imagine the beautiful city of London getting destroyed like it was depicted in the movie. Once again, it was 75 years removed from the actual violence. However it wasn’t graphic like the American Sniper. I think you could take a middle school child to see The Imitation Game to understand the frightening realities of a world war and the contributions of individuals like Alan Turing that continue to impact us today. You can also talk about the mistreatment of homosexuals in that time period and explain that it was a time of ignorance and misunderstanding.
Movie makers should ask the question, “what do we hope to contribute to the world” when a movie is made. Will it bring out the best in people or stir up the worst? While I appreciate that American snipers are needed because there are aggressive individuals who don’t respond to reason, I am not sure it’s such a hot idea to get everyone revved up (both sides) so that we are ensure cooler minds will never prevail.