Subconscious Power of Film


To some viewers, watching films is a hobby, a way to pass time or to be entertained. Films may appear superficial to book-worms, but they can be just as advantageous, influential, and powerful as they completely shift one’s perspective on many horizons. Take ‘Selma’ for example, which discusses U.S. marches in the South that took to the streets, led by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1965 for voting rights on a day remembered as ‘Bloody Sunday’ and caught attention after footage was released. The marches were organized locally by James Bevel, Ulysses S. Blackmon, and Amelia Boynton. One influential moment in Selma is when Boynton passed out and was being severely beaten by members of law enforcement, as she lay unconscious.

Even if these people never gave this issue a thought before, this scene is like a lesson taught towards the audience’s sensibility and judgments. Moreover, it has a role in raising awareness of the dangers of racism and their effects on their victims. Indeed, films can lead our points of view positively, negatively, consciously, or unconsciously.

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Anyway, the audience never watches for the sake of exposure to new sides of ‘the story.’ However, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by the spirit of a plot, filled with countless personalities, emotions, and sacrifices. We find in our daily lives, our hearts will be touched, drawing us to rethink our perspectives, and consider the conditions of others. 

Nevertheless, these influences might not last; few factors must be accompanied and witnessed by the audience. For instance, youngsters are more affected than adults in this matter; they haven’t been through enough socialization or life-experiences to evaluate the facts. Also, those who read, study, or simply know more general information can accurately relate to whatever they see. If it is a character with a mental disorder, their knowledge directs them emotionally; as they already understand the issue the film is discussing. So, all the focus is directed to their hearts.

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Not only can films influence individuals, but they also aid in shedding light on certain societal issues, and offer solutions or tips – which could help people deal with them. Although, the filmmakers’ objective could be a simple reminder to the importance of the issue. Films offer the audience a tremendously zoomed-in portrayal of experiences and situations, whether thrilling, sad or twisty, giving them a deep view on what’s going on, how it’s going, the reasons behind it, and the suffering or feelings the characters encounter. This process reduces judgments people hold about others without knowing their true story.

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Movie addicts, who watch every film thoroughly, can memorize points, and make deep considerations, dive into the ambiance of these films and understand all the historical events, psychological perversions, political dilemmas, and attach points from different films together to develop a more organized, vast mindset.

We could learn from them how to interpret conditions far from the way they look, to think through the deep layers and origin of these conditions in the first place. If we all think about issues maturely, help will prevail, which could solve many of the major problems we face daily.

What do you think?

Do you have a different opinion? Do you think films have different powers? Share with us one foreign and another Egyptian film experience you had that made you look at them unconventionally.

Farida Gamal

I’m majoring in mass communication because I’m really interested in script-writing! I’ve always loved writing and have always had a passion for movies, so practically I killed two birds with one stone and enrolled as a writer for the Film section in Cairo Contra! I’m intensely trying my very best to give my full potential to everything I love, and ignore all the circumstances that could lead me to give up on what it is I’m passionate for!

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