Movie Date: Film as Political Propaganda

Friday, April 13, 2012 - 11:13 AM

Heavy stuff this week. "October Baby" tells the story of a woman's discovery that her mother almost aborted her. Intended or not, the movie's politics — see what happens when you don't have an abortion? — align comfortably with those of the religious Right. Likewise, the recent film "The Lorax" and 2006's "Happy Feet" decry the ills of global warming in a quintessentially liberal parlance. But not all movies have agendas, right?

In this week's podcast, Kristen and Rafer tread lightly through these touchy subjects, but leave no stone unturned in their quest for truth.

Subscribe to the podcast on the Movie Date iTunes Page.

Hosted by:

Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer


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Comments [3]


When a film's message is progressive it has a social conscience; when it is conservative it is propaganda.
Apparently even a few examples of cinematic questioning of leftist dogma is to be discouraged and that resistance should encourage true iconoclast artists interested in challenging strongly held beliefs in society.

Apr. 15 2012 09:22 PM
Guilherme from Caratinga, Brazil

I think all movies, regardless of whether they have an overt political message or not, carry a political message. Even the lightest romantic comedy is backed by a worldview. It makes sense to people who share that worldview. I live in Brazil, and the majority of films people watch here are from the US. And outside the US you see how political American movies become. I have never watched a Iranian or North Korean movie here. Viewers here are inundated with American films, both great and appalling ones. And all these movies create an image of America and Americans in the minds of Brazilians. In these movies, we watch American families and their dramas, love stories, individual conflicts, in short, we see characters on the screens, and associate them to Americans. We hardly ever watch an Iranian family drama, or a love story from North Korea. Who would know what an Iranian worldview would look like? Thus, whereas we see Americans as individuals with struggles, who love, who work, we do not have the same image of other peoples. When asked which side they support (US vs Iran) most Brazilians choose the US. I think it's partly because we have images of Americans as humans, but we don't even get a view of others except from news stories which are not very different from FOX's journalism. Thus, put in this context, any movie becomes political.

Apr. 15 2012 07:27 PM
Ted Polk

Propaganda? No mention of Avatar? Even Rolling Stone noticed its beat you over the head political message. The bad guys all but twirled their mustaches.
Birth of A Nation was more nuanced and subtle.

Apr. 14 2012 06:06 PM

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