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Feb 4, 2021 in Opinion

Threaded Discussion on Political Sciences

Milk

Milk bears the power to change one's political sensibilities, as it proves that being different is not a crime and should not act as a barrier to achievements and affirms that independence can be achieved through perseverance despite the barriers that some individuals may experience.

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The major ideas presented by Milk are the following:

  1. Torture and brutality that gay individuals experience from the homophobic police officers. Especially, this happens to the black American youth because of racial discrimination.
  2. Milk's political ambitions to change the view of homosexuality in California, which are achieved when the leader of the gay movement is elected into public office.
  3. Milk's vision of a country with no discrimination based on sexuality, which can be seen in his debate with Briggs.

Milk makes an appeal to all the "closeted" people to come out to their families and promises that they would be better placed to fight for their rights if the nation knew about them. The gay people are, however, reluctant due to the increased homophobia in the state. 2. Milk witnesses the homophobic police torturing a gay activist, which motivates him to join politics as a member of the supervisory board. 3. Milk protests the allegation of Briggs who claims that gay individuals cannot become teachers arguing that children would also pick up the habit of gays. Milk, however, uses his scenario to explain that it is a fate and not the impact of the surrounding as he cites that both his parents are heterosexual, yet he is gay.

Gay rights have been a struggle from time immemorial due to victimization. In Milk, Harvey Milk stands up as a voice of hope to the gay fraternity in an era when everyone is against homosexuals. The film gives an overview of the gay rights activism by Harvey Milk who is the first gay person to have ever been elected to an office held by the public in California. He is "elected" to become one of the members of the San Francisco board of supervisors. Based on this example, Milk shows that indifference is not a crime and, therefore, proves that being different should not be a barrier to one's capabilities.

Work cited: Milk. Directed by Gus Van Sant, Focus Features, 2008.

My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho focuses on issues dealing with the social economy, as well as a sexual orientation in American culture, and tries to explain that sometimes rebellion is far worse than submission to the authority because life can be ruined and a state of desperation reached.

The following are the themes presented by My Own Private Idaho:

  1. The film bases its plot on the theme of homosexuality and gay rights.
  2. The film presents the idea of rehabilitation and mentorship as Bob Pigeon is a young mentor of the street kids and hustlers.
  3. The film finally addresses the desperation and regret of Mike and Scott for joining street life.

Mike Waters is depicted as gay and claims that he is in love with Scott 2. In the scene when Mike stands alone and starts to talk to himself, one can notice that he is in a state of regret for having joined the street life. Moreover, Scott is in a state of regret for his rebellion when he explains to Bob, the street kid's mentor, that he will return home when he is 21 years old. 3. Bob helps the two young men to rediscover themselves. As a result, Mike yearns to be reunited with his mother and that is why he and Scott travel in a bid to find her.

My Own Private Idaho provides a foundation to show that rediscovery is the only option for fulfillment. Bob leads Scott and Mike into the rediscovery of themselves and lamenting their earlier rebellion. Both young men find their way out of their rebellious past, hence leading to a better life. Mike and Scott finally start to search for Mike's mother in Idaho and later in Italy. My Own Private Idaho uses diverse sources to communicate and express street life and gay struggles, as well as address issues affecting the LGBT fraternity.

Work cited: My Own Private Idaho. Directed by Gus Van Sant, Fine Line Features, 1991.

Do the Right Thing

The film aims at exposing the devastating effects that racism can bring to a once peaceful community and the losses that can be incurred as a result, as well as provides a deeper understanding of the consequences of racism and how it can influence the "usual" peace of a community.

The following are the major ideas articulated in the film:

  1. The violence that results from conflict is well orchestrated in Do the Right Thing.
  2. Racism, as depicted in the film, leads to devastating consequences for the whole community.
  3. The idea of vengeance is also present in the movie.

A simple argument raised by Buggin: Out, who is a frequent customer at the pizzeria, leads to an escalated fight between him and Sal, which results in the torching of the pizzeria by the angry mob. 2. Sal's attitude to Buggin Out is the primary source of the violence in their fight, which triggers the locals to torch the pizzeria, as most of them are black. 3. Sal's son hates Mookie and all blacks, in general. At the end of the film, Mookie throws a trash can through the window of Sal's pizzeria as a means of taking revenge on Sal and his son.

Peace and harmony are key determinants of how people coexist with one another in society. The film identifies the racist shortcomings that lead to the devastating effects, namely the torched pizzeria. The latter is not only Sal's loss but also that of the whole neighborhood as they were pizzeria customers. The film, therefore, shows that conflict does not only cause violence but also the loss of property.

Work cited: Do the Right Thing. Directed by Spike Lee, Universal Pictures, 1989.

Boyz N the Hood

Boyz N the Hood aims at proving that sometimes violence just leads to more violence rather than helps to solve a pending matter, especially when it involves gangs and illegal violent organizations.

The review articulates the following major issues in the film:

  1. The impact of street gangs and the leading cause of teenagers joining street gangs.
  2. The significant role of parents in the protection of their children.
  3. The role of killing, violence, and vengeance.

The opening scene shows three black teenagers who have a discussion. They struggle for their lives on the streets and seek identification using gangs. This example shows that teenagers may join gangs to achieve their dreams. The scene is also symbolic since it supports the idea that life begins from an innocent being but the manner of the interaction with the environment shapes destiny. 2. Tre's father prevents him from seeking vengeance as a result of the death of his friend Ricky. Tre leaves the gang, which keeps him unharmed but, at the end of the film, he still engages in crime. 3. Ferris kills Ricky using an accident, which leads to the gang's bow to avenge him by taking revenge on the leaders and members of the other gang. As a result, Doughboy kills the oppressive gang member as a means of seeking vengeance for his brother Ricky, hence leading to more deaths.

Gangs are known to be ruthless killing machines and though they are depicted as providing one a sense of belonging and security the consequences of being involved in them bring more trouble than benefits to any community. The violence caused by Ferris leads to the death of almost the whole gang, Ferris included, and leaves both Ricky and Doughboy dead.

Work cited: Boyz 'N the Hood. Directed by John Singleton, Columbia Pictures, 1991.

Documentary Film Review

Bell hooks, as one of the public intellectuals in America, extensively argues for a transformative power of cultural criticism. The primary objective of the documentary Cultural Criticism and Transformation is to explain the importance of class and gender equality of both Americans and African-Americans. Bell hooks also fight for feminism and the war against male chauvinism. When bell hooks use the phrase "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy," she does so as a way to describe the dominating systems that have defined reality.

The term is inclusive of gender and race, among other things. The documentary view of critical thinking is to transform society and make it a better place for everyone. Bell hooks also argue that racism does not permit decolonization and colonization; thus, it makes the white people be the center of colonization. The aim of cultural analysis, as bell puts it for audiences, is to be knowledgeable about cultural life.

From my point of view, watching this film can transform the political sensibilities of the audience since one is motivated to transform society into a better place. When comparing it to the feature-length non-documentary texts that examine the same historical political movement and figure, the documentary fails to address the fact that the male population should be involved to ensure a successful future.

The issues that bell hooks recognize are the feminist movements in the United States. She also underlines that popular films now aim at getting females out of feminist movements and returning to the patriarchal model. From the documentary, my personal political sensibilities have been transformed, as I am currently more likely to be engaged in political movements than I was previously.

Work cited: bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation. Directed by Sut Jhally, Media Education, 1997.

Recommendations

My film suggestions are The Contender and Seven Days in May. Both the above-mentioned films have the ability to change one's political sensibilities as they show that all political ambitions are achievable no matter the circumstances. The Contender explains the art of leadership in times of tension and pressure where the nationalists demand to know what nuclear energy is. It shows that, even in the face of political pressure, one can stand out and make sane decisions. The film reveals the tension and uneasiness resulting in the nuclear rumors in the nation. In The Contender, a senator is nominated for the Vice President. However, she is faced with the task of proving that she is not guilty of previous sexual encounters. The sexual allegations turn from an investigation into a media fiasco. Thus, the Senate is faced with the threat of either unmasking the rot or proceeding with the nominations. Therefore, it needs to define a stand that will either ruin the nomination or uphold it.

On the other hand, Seven Days in May directed by Frankenheimer has the ability to transform political sensibilities since it outlines the plot to remove the president from office due to his support of signing a treaty of nuclear disarmament. The film tries to provide solid conspiracy evidence as the actors try to avoid a military coup, but it seems imminent throughout the film.

Works cited: The Contender. Directed by Rod Lurie, DreamWorks Pictures, 2000.

Seven Days in May. Directed by John Frankenheimer, Paramount Pictures, 1964.

Conclusion

Films have the potential to influence the political sensibilities of individuals. Watching films like Milk, individuals gain the confidence to solve issues that relate to them and apply different solutions to their problems. For instance, from the films covered, one can conclude that engagements with other people should be unique and free from judging by their skin color, race, age, or any other classifications to be politically sensitive. The main aim of the films is to create either positive or negative awareness, especially in matters affecting American society. The films are all entertaining and educating mainly through the roles played by different characters.

The films we watch should not only entertain us but should also be of use to our general lives and assist us in understanding the social aspect of life and everything that it entails. The film industry aims at the promotion of peace among individuals. The role of movie theater owners is to put an emphasis on the fact that human life is more precious than anything else is and nothing can change the price. Every person should join the fight against the addressed vices and labeling that destroys people's esteem and cultural and religious beliefs. I also suggest that judgment in leadership should not be based on our indifferences; rather, it should be based on choosing someone who is deemed fit to occupy such a position and, at the same time, is the best candidate who has been chosen by the people to represent them. Therefore, the film industry should strive to shape the moral behavior of society rather than broadcast societal evils.

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