In America, movies reflect culture, while the work product of writers, directors and actors have remarkable affects on attitudes toward discrimination, social justice, personal responsibility, politics, gender and gender identity, religion, education, philosophy, hope and the many other components of the American Dream and experience.
Movies made outside America reflect countries, languages, life stories, cultures and world views that make up the global human experience. Thus sitting before a screen, we are afforded incredible adventures, if only we make the effort to explore them.
We can time-travel to the American South during the early 1800s and share the life experiences and frustrations of Negro slaves or re-live a bloody, hard-fought battle in the jungles of Viet Nam in the late 1960s. Hidden from sight, we can witness the eccentric life and affairs of a glamorous actor or hear the stories of unsung heroes.
We can see the world through eyes unlike our own, as a homeless, abused twelve-year-old in Bombay, an intelligent, progressive woman who is frustrated at being objectified, a detective working to catch a serial killer, a budding genius or prodigy, waiting for the world to notice, or a child who just wants a parent “to understand.” We can explore the “power of the force” or the infinitesimal power within. We can save the world—or the universe!
We can adventure to other worlds and galaxies to consider life beyond our imagination and explore divergent realities within our own. We can live the lives of others, share the experience of others, think the thoughts of others and come to new conclusions of our own. We grow through the experience.
Movies are transformative so that for the fortunate, it means sitting down before the screen as one person, and rising an hour or more later as a subtly-different person—hopefully a better person.
On Movie Night, I invite you to watch a full-movie with me. I will pick two movies per month (sometimes three), and I will ask you to sit and watch it with me. I’ll share up-front, but when it’s done I hope we can talk about it, so I’ll ask you to share your opinions in the comment section… with me, and with others who have watched. If you have any suggestions for Movie Night, please share them below so I can try to get them up for others to experience. The adventure starts here!
Movie 1 — Lillies of the Field (1963), starring Sidney Poitier