Over the years, cinema’s only role has been thought to be entertainment. At times, this stereotypical outlook has ensured that the intentions of the filmmakers which go beyond entertainment have been ignored. …
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This is in view that people would understand fully their roles and take up responsibilities as expected of them. This would have the effect of reducing friction and misunderstandings among people and eventually strengthen the social fabric that links people together. However, it is not all about cinemas having a socially conscious message (Russell, 2009). Overtime, people have been driven by a need to reproduce cinemas for commercial reasons a move that has diluted the messages passed on by these films.
It thus calls for people to be overly conscious of the messages they perceive from these films as it is not always about positive messages. In fact, some have been seen to produce messages that are in great contrast with the values and beliefs of people. Such films upset society and are marginally responsible for the high levels of delinquency witnessed in society and at times they may be blamed for the complacency and ignorance of basic social norms by youths (Turner, 1999). Reference to youths is not accidental but is a connotation which seeks to point out the most affected group by the emerging films some of which leaves them worse of morally. This comes from the fact that this group is the most targeted group by filmmakers and at the same time it is the most active in watching films. Unfortunately, the group seems to perceive negative messages more than they perceive messages that have some social relevance. To examine further the social role of cinema/films, this study adopts an objective approach. It explores the film’s social impact by looking at three films; The Italian (2005), Pixote (1981) and NEDS (2010). It looks at the themes propagated by these films and particularly those of social realism and the representation of children as a social symbol. Attention will also be given to representation of crime, delinquency, and evil in the films. The assignment will hope to draw enough resources to substantiate information gathered from these primary resources in an endeavor to produce a complete and thorough representation of the social function of cinema. The three films have some common themes but the way they eventually deliver their message is different. They take us through the lives of innocent souls, children, who in their tender ages have to contend with tough choices and decisions only to guarantee their survival and existence in a rather brutal world. For instance, The Italian illustrates a child’s effort to get reunited with the parents. It illuminates on the rather unobserved role of children as home makers and the fabric which holds the family together. The second film, Pixote, illuminates the harsh reality on the streets. It represents a course that few choose to talk about; street life that turns children into brutal beings. It also shows the rather ugly side of unconcerned societal members who do not care about what they lead children into. When children eventually become delinquent, they turn against them forgetting their role in making them what they are (Smidt, 2006). The last film, NEDS, shifts focus into the very basic unit of the society, the family, as the molding block of our children and the many faults within this unit that eventually lead rather focused individuals astray. Section I The Italian The Italian is a film directed by Andrei
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