How well do films reflect society?

Ashleigh Clarke

Films are a form of entertainment, and whilst they are intended to make us laugh and cry, their purpose is to also make us think. Films, much like us; are influenced by societal and political changes we face on a daily basis.

The trends that each new era brings, are often portrayed heavily within movies and there is no better way than to be part of an audience, watching a film where the characters are going through the same issues you are. Films have a knack for making people feel accepted and part of the story, they immerse you, surround you.

Films don’t always need to be jam packed with action, or over the top romance, sometimes the truth win’s people’s hearts and minds and boy do people love a good film with an interesting and real backbone.

Throughout the years, so many films have been influenced and inspired by real life events, that I’m shocked at what kind of films were birthed in light of a moment in time. Take this for example, Psycho was influenced by the brutal crimes of real life serial killer – Ed Gein, talk about heavy mummy issues. In fact, a lot of films made in the 1960’s were inspired by iconic murders or wars. It was relevant then, and it is relevant now – due to the fact that we can take a piece of the past away with us after we’ve finished watching them.

To me, the most iconic part of a film based on true events are the snippets of information we receive at the end, notifying us on what happened after, or where the people ended up. It’s lodged a pretty hefty lump in my throat at times and when I pause to think about them, that lump reappears; time and time again.

Think about it, if nothing occurred in society, then we wouldn’t have half the films we do now – like Titanic or Dallas Buyers Club. And obviously films are exaggerated to appeal to the larger masses, but the truth is always the underlying theme. Sometimes we watch films that have been inspired by horrific events, and sometimes they’re not – but as a human, someone who can empathise with what’s happening on screen, it’s soothing to know you’re not alone in the world. That these characters, these real life people, these events, have made their mark not just in the movie kingdom, but as a part of history.

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