Film’s Impact on Political Sensibilities
Film has the potential to change one’s political sensibilities because it provides a way for us to envision politics in a different manner, far from the confusing intricacies of democratic politics that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Research indicates that films have the capability to produce lasting attitudinal changes towards the politics of the day (Adkins & Castle, 2014). Films provide an explanation as to how political decisions are made, and how different political set-ups may be better for us. Despite the fact that most films are fictional, they can help us understand the implications of certain political decisions that have actually been made in real life. For many years now, film has motivated the masses to take a stance on different political issues that have carried the day.
For instance, films such as ‘As Good as it Gets’ and ‘The Rainmaker’, have had a tremendous impact on how people view the Affordable Care Act brought into law by the Obama administration. Research shows that people who watched these films had changed their political stance against the new law and generally became more receptive to the new legislation (Adkins & Castle, 2014).
From a personal viewpoint, watching ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ drove the point home regarding climate change. Many say that the movie was not scientifically accurate to the extent that such an event is implausible. However, I began to see that the extinction of the world was now a possibility if global warming was not reigned in soon. The constant reports on how the water levels were increasing in the North and South poles now became plausible. I now believed that an apocalyptic sized event would take place within the next fifty years if greenhouse emission gases were not controlled. Slowly but surely I have become a great supporter of all initiatives to ‘go green’ from recycling my daily waste to driving ‘green’ cars. I also support laws and referendums that are meant to reign in climate change in a bid to avert the impending disaster.
It seems I was not the only one whose political sensibilities on climate change had been altered forever. According to Leiserowitz (2004), 83% of the people who watched the movie became seriously concerned about global warming and climate change and what the government is doing to curb the increasing threat to our planet. The researcher also discovered that more people than ever were now living in fear that global warming related events such as extreme flooding would occur in their lifetime. The movie made people aware of the need to hold the governments of the world accountable for the environment and its protection.
Adkins, T. & Castle, J. (2014). Moving Pictures? Experimental evidence of cinematic influence on political attitudes. Social Science Quarterly, 95(5): 1230-1244.
Leiserowitz, A. (2004). Surveying the Impact: The Day After Tomorrow. Environment, 46(9): 21-44.