Another Post Begging for Good Storytelling

There’s a lot of debate going on in the Twitterverse about this article by Ben Howe of Red State on BuzzFeed (!) titled “Another Bad Conservative Movie.”  The article reviews the movie trailer for “A Movement on Fire” by Tea Party Patriots.  Howe writes:

Instead of pulling people into a story that espouses the underlying tenets of liberty, it slaps them across the face with all of the subtlety of a campaign commercial. Rather than taking the viewer along for a first person view of how our present can develop into their future, the filmmakers opted to skip directly to the bottom of the slippery slope without describing the tumble with enough detail to create a real connection for the viewer.

The last thing these filmmakers probably wanted was to grant more evidence to the entertainment industry that conservatism and art don’t mix.

A million times, YES.  The best cases for freedom aren’t movies that put ideology before the product.  As Howe notes, movies like “The Hunger Games” make a better case for freedom.

This film seems to play out less as the tried and true Orwellian future that is used in so many successful movies and books — typically with more progressive heroes saving the day — and attempts a weak imitation of The Hunger Games. But even putting aside what appears to be a low budget offering, where does a film like Hunger Games succeed while this film can’t? Why do Orwellian futures work in other stories, but not this one?

Well first of all, films like Hunger Games succeed because they create a suspension of disbelief. They take you into a world so far removed from our own that you become absorbed in their universe. Suspension of disbelief can be vitally important if your intention is to make a statement that you hope resonates with the viewer. By absorbing them in something so far removed from reality, and getting them to accept that reality’s rules, you have opened their mind to ideas. This doesn’t work well if the person is instead constantly nitpicking what they find unrealistic.

We know there are liberty-minded producers, directors, actors and others in the movie-making business.  I think the reason we don’t see many of them involved in overtly political projects is because they know the art often suffers when advancing an ideology is the primary goal. 


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