12 March 2011

Movies for development

The UK Guardian newspaper's development website is exploring the impact that film can play in development.
In this case it is largely focusing on films in which living standards and human rights are central to the story.
I think it can be argued that any film in which people's lives are portrayed realistically can be highly influential in shaping perceptions of the opportunities and challenges of development. A big issue, therefore, is the lack of realism in cinema, the relative lack of indigenous cinema in developing countries and the limited circulation of media between people of different cultures. Globally, the dominance of highly funded, escapist US cinema has a strong influence on perceptions of living standards and sets unrealistic aspirations for millions. This in turn fuels personal dissatisfaction, migration and related social disruption. It is a complex issue, perhaps worthy of a movie...

(Image: Osama, 2003)