The bad impact of movies on culture has always been the subject of intense discussions and debates between and amongst various parties. Sure, the entertainment value of movies cannot be questioned but the morale and values that characters portray in many of the popular movies raises room for concerns. It is for this reason that strict movie rating systems have been developed to properly catalogue the impact of movies on culture although it should be said that such rating systems are never perfect in delivering the goals they set out to achieve.
To understand this in more detail, perhaps it is helpful to examine some controversial movie themes that can help drive the bad impacts of movies on different cultures around the world.
- Violence. In the wake of gun violence issues in America and in many other parts of the world, the theme of violence is a concern more pressing than the most severe backpain you have ever experienced. Unfortunately, violence is a theme that easily sells in movies. People love bad-ass fight scenes, gun-shooting rampages, and war but this can significantly influence the way kids view guns. If movies continue to advocate that guns are ways to show your bravado and masculinity, then it is no wonder that the real world has caught up with the trend increasing the number of incidences of gun abuse and violence in many countries worldwide.
- Vigilantism. This theme is closely linked to violence albeit in a manner that is perhaps more dangerous. The idea of heroism via vigilantism is at the core of many of our superhero movies. Because kids want to emulate the superheroes they love and adore, vigilantism becomes an accepted behavior rather than a questionable violation of the intent of the law and the legal system.
- Sex. Equally pressing is the subject of sex particularly as it applies to the younger generation. Sex both has its good and bad side like coconut for hair, but the risk that the bad side overpowers the good that it brings is clearly recognized. Today, teenage pregnancy is increasing at an alarming rate and movies are partly to blame for spreading the concepts of sex and promiscuity without consequences.
- Drugs. There is a collective social objection to the idea of drugs but this has not stopped movies from continuing to portray these themes. As a result, drug addiction has become a cornerstone debate about individual freedom and intervention as more young people believe they should have access to drugs if they choose to do so. The government has not given up on its effort to clean the streets of drugs so as to prevent the younger generation from getting access to it but the entertainment industry likewise needs to take a vocal stance in proclaiming that drugs are bad for you. So far, this has not happened to a degree that is worth the recognition.
Our thirst for entertainment will always push us to enjoy the movies that are coming out ever so often but the “disconnect” in the themes and values systems portrayed in these films leaves plenty to be desired. Only time will tell if movies become more sensitive to many of the pressing social and cultural problems befalling many countries across the world. Until then, it is safe to assume that movies will always have bad impacts on culture. And indeed, that is a pity that we can do very little about.