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Why the government should fund more films

Why the government should fund more films

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Published by Francisco Javier
A highschool speech
A highschool speech

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Published by: Francisco Javier on May 17, 2014
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05/17/2014

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Hello, today I’m going to talk to you about the importance of utilizing more government funds

towards the creation of movies. Cinema is extremely impactful thanks to its accessibility. The
visual medium is the easiest for our minds to understand, since we are so accustomed to
seeing, and since dialogue and sound are another integral part of film, it is very simple so
uneducated and even illiterate individuals can understand a movie’s message. Cinema is
everywhere; movies are now made in all parts of the world, from US blockbusters to small
Kenyan dramas. While many people might think of movies as simple entertainment that don’t
deserve money from the government, I’m here to tell you that films actually are an important
part of our culture, they show what we care about as a society and can be utilized as a great
tool of persuasion.

To show how films reflect what we put importance on I’m going to talk about two tragedies and
one extremely popular movie genre. It can be assumed that when many successful movies are
made, many different from the others, about one specific topic it means that people care about
that topic. Based on this assumption I’m going to discuss the Holocaust, 9/11, and the Sci-Fi
genre. In the last year of WWII, after the atrocities that occurred the world didn’t hesitate to
express them. In 1945, 29 movies about WWII were released. WWII was especially popular in
the US where 20 of those 29 movies were made. This trend has grown exponentially, 70 years
after the end of the war, last year 54 movies about the WWII were released with 10 being from
the US. It is evident WWII is an important topic and people care about it. My last piece of
evidence reflects, not history, but what we are curious about. Sci-Fi was the 3
rd
most popular
movie genre after action-adventure and comedies. While Action and Comedy can be discarded
as pure entertainment, I say that the prevalence of science fiction shows our obsession with the
future. Many sci-fi movies deal with the topics of future technologies, robots, and space. 34
science fiction films were made last year and even the highest grossing film of all time, Avatar
which grossed $2.7 Billion, is a science fiction film. This proves that people are genuinely
curious about what the future could be. Movies can also be seen as a staple of our society in
this place in history. This is evident in films of 1950’s where the outdated roles of husband &
wife can be seen. An example is Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo which is a romance film about a man
attempting to get a woman to fall in love with him; it stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. It is a
very interesting movie but it immediately feels outdated when you see the kind of roles that
Jimmy plays and the ones Kim plays. Jimmy acts like the hero of the story while Kim acts as a
damsel in distress. This seems very wrong by today’s standard but in the 1950’s this is how
women were seen. By seeing what kinds are movies are being made and when, we can see
what we as a society’s value, are interested in, and what the status quo is or was.

Next, Cinema can be used for good or evil. This is especially because of its inherent simplicity.
During the early 1900’s the KKK was starting to resurge in popularity and had 3 million
members. In 1915, an anti-African American film was released called The Birth of a Nation. This
movie depicted members of the KKK “saving” America from black ”beasts” that try to destroy it.
Even though it was criticized for being extremely racist when it came out it became immensely
popular. As a result of its popularity, 5 years after the release of the film the membership of the
Ku Klux Klan had grown to 6 million members, double the size of the previous Klan. The Birth of
a Nation was an extremely powerful piece of propaganda that shifted how people viewed the
world, but was for the worst since many people now saw blacks to be inferior and decided to
stop their “infestation”. Movies can also be used for good, an excellent example is Spielberg’s
Schindler’s List. This film was a drama about a German industrialist named Schindler, who was
a Jew sympathizer during WWII, and helped liberate many Jews by putting them to work in his
factories and then liberating them. In 1993 Spielberg released his biopic about Schindler and
just like The Birth of a Nation it was a huge success. What came out of its popularity, though,
was totally opposite. Before Schindler’s List the average daily visitation for the National
Holocaust Memorial Museum was 3,300 visitors. After Schindler’s List the Holocaust Museum
averaged 4,200 daily visitors and even reached a peak of 6,600 in a day. The film helped raise
awareness about the Holocaust and people now understood the terrible acts of the Holocaust,
assuring that it will not happen again

It can be said that government money would be better spent on helping people, like the
homeless, needy, or to be spent on education. What I say to this is that based on the points I’ve
previously made, movies are a kind of education and can work for the social good just as much
as a social service. It can educate people about the atrocities of the world, motivate them to
take action, show inadequate and dated traditions, and since it is so accessible it reaches a
huge audience.



Films have a great impact on social perceptions and society. They tell us what past societies
valued and what we currently value. More importantly, they can persuade us to think a certain
way, to be racist like with The Birth of a Nation, or an up-stander in the case of Schindler’s List.
Considering the power that films can have, this is why we need to fund more movies. We need
to create movies to cause people to want to take action, to cause people to reflect on the
mistakes of the past, and to cause people to change the world.

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