Rwanda has ruined us on action movies
My sister and brother-in-law have been subject to some interesting movie gripes from Robin and I in the last few weeks. They’ve been around after each of our two theater movie experiences (Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises) and we’ve has processing to do after each one. I think I’ll continue processing right here…
Many themes in action movies seem far-fetched: Gotham (or NYC, as I like to think) under mob rule, world freedom threatened by intelligent gods/aliens, ordinary people standing up to terrible bad guys. It is easy to sit down for “entertainment” and enjoy these fictitious scenarios without much thought. I’ve done it for years.
Think about those themes again – mob rule, collapsing governments, frustrated heroes. They seem so farfetched from the comfort of our movie theater seat. We drove our functioning cars on highways organized by careful traffic laws to reach the theater. We know that we can complain to a manager and expect results if we are disturbed by any other movie patrons. The levels of efficiency, safety and predictability in our world are nearly unprecedented.
Not so for much of the rest of the world.
Many citizens of the world face mob action during any political process or societal unrest. Laws don’t always mean order and security (says that girl who has given Oreo cookies to an overseas police officer in exchange for no traffic ticket). Chaos is real and chaos tears families apart. Heroes rise up and are crushed (watch Mugabe and the White African sometime). The long-term effects of unstable governments leave scars that have people crying in the middle of the night for 20 years.
Action movies are like fairy tales to me now. They perpetuate this American belief, fueled, I assume, by the Revolutionary War, that the underdog can always win when they have a “just” cause. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those with just causes are plowed under on a regular basis. Dictators flourish and chaos ruins lives. This isn’t entertainment. This is real.
So maybe I just can’t watch action movies for a while. Somehow I need to find a way to make peace with this frustration. I’m not big on awareness campaigns, but I might have to start one. I just want Americans to realize that there is more to the world than their organized bubble. Good entertainment is always based on truth – somehow, we need to see the truth.