Movies are, perhaps, the most important medium of mass communication. Few other media have an appeal so widespread, and movies are thus used, consciously and unconsciously, as educators and arousers. The first movie- the train entering the station- had people scurrying for cover, and not much has changed since then, metaphorically speaking. People are still just as roused by a good film, and the influence of the film industry can be seen from how people walk, talk, dress, and think. In this article, we will see the impact of cinema of our lives.
Universal source of entertainment
The most important impact of cinema, of course, lies in the field of entertainment. They provide the ultimate form of audio-visual entertainment to people, something that can be seen over and over again. Everyone goes to watch a movie once in a while, and a lot of people watch films with an ardent passion. Movies today encompass many genres, and cater to a wide variety of tastes. There are serious and thoughtful movies, and those that are more lighthearted. People go to watch a film to spend some time with their loved ones, and people watch movies by themselves. This is the one form of entertainment that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, with or without company, irrespective of one’s current mood.
Shapes historical perspective
Movies are a great influence on how people view history. Movies are of many kinds, and each kind has its own impact on shaping and reflecting the culture of a particular set of society. Historical movie, for instance, provide to their audience insights into the history of a particular region or of the world. They bring to the audience the chance to participate in something they were not part of, and impart a cultural lesson that enables the audience to find their roots. Take a movie like Schindler’s List, for example. The movie focused on the heroic deeds of a supposed Nazi official during the height of Hitler’s regime, and extensively depicts the horrors of the concentration camps. The movie remains a testament and a reminder of one of the most shameful episodes in human history. And not just that; movies also leave for posterity a clear vision of the world as it is in the present.
Shapes cultural attributes
Movies play a great role in shaping the culture of a society. They are the most widespread medium of communication, and naturally, people are widely influenced by how the characters behave, and by extension, how the stars behave. Studies have shown that the rise in the popularity of gangster movies has significantly changed how people around the world speak and behave. Similarly, people tend to adhere to the way character stereotypes behave in movies. One sobering incident reminds us of this influence very starkly: an Australian man was once apprehended for accosting women, and his defence in the court was that his staple diet of Bollywood movies growing up had branded him with the belief that such behavior is accepted. This incident is by no means singular, and goes on to show the importance of making movies responsibly.
Imparts social and political information
Speaking of responsible movie-making, this medium of communication can be, and is, harnessed to a great length to impart education to the society. Certain movies point fingers at the ills that plague the society, and act as vehicles of change. Movies such as Parched and Pink show, in very clear light, the situation of women in countries that do not provide adequate safety and dignity for females. Movies are used across the world as vehicles for advocating important governmental measures, call-to-action for social change, and even government propaganda. Movies made in countries with dictatorships, for instance, are often used to educate the people about the greatness of the leader.
Provides widespread employment
Movies are a great source of income. Any film industry banks on a huge workforce, and the number of people working in an industry at any point of time is staggering. There are producers and distributors who stand to make money from the profits, and there are actors who are paid for each movie they make. But the crew consists of many more- from technicians, graphic artists, to floor managers and spotboys. As a result the film industry provides huge employment to a significant portion of the population of the native country, and even beyond. And not just that; the taxations from movies are also a great source of revenue for the government of the native country.
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The impact of movies on human society perhaps can be best judged from the fact that they pass rigorous scrutiny by the censor board, and certain movies have a difficult time seeing the light of day. Some movies, deemed highly controversial, are even forbidden from release, which is a testament to their potential impact on the society. Yet, irrespective of the limitations posed on filmmaking, and the release of so-called ‘safe’ films, each creation continues to affect the population in its own way.