Films are made to pottery some of the social issues in the societies. A film is defined as the components of motion pictures that are recorded with the camera. Since films depict some aspect of any culture, so it does not affect the cultures both in positive and negative way. Films are considered the best media to convey a social message. So most of the films these days show violence, and it has an adverse effect on society even on small children. Wars movies are the best examples of this. The more violence that is showed in movies, the more hatred and violence is produced among the societies (Lemiffe 2012).
It is equally true that the many war movies are made for only propaganda purposes. Although they may to some extent generate patriotic feelings, but the affects may be dangerous in the long run. Many countries developed propaganda war films but later on observed severe impact on society that forced them to stop making such movies. If one analyzes war movies and their impacts on societies, he can clearly see that such movies can only generate hatred among different nations towards each other. Disturbing and brutal movies in themselves provoke societies to show brutal feelings and attitudes. This is obvious that most of the war films are far away to do with reality; they are just propaganda movies trying to suppress one nation. The violence and brutality movies lead toward more violent feeling, and people will carry and, the more ideas to attack each other they will learn.
Wars films normally acknowledge the horror and brutality in war (War Films Part 1 n.d.). The main source of war movies is the actual tension between different nations. Themes that have been used in war movies include combat, survivor, escape, sacrifice and struggle, inhumanity if the battlefield, the affects of war on societies and most importantly the exploration of the human and moral issues. Had the real message of the war been to convey the real message, then it would have been fine but movie makers normally mis-pottery the history. There are so many war films that have been made just to show the power of one nation over another and the result is what? The same that one nation starts hating the other in reality.
However, some movies do succeed in balancing the real soul searching, tragic consequences and the inner turmoil of the combatants and characters with excellently portraying the turmoil of the warfare. While other war movies concentrates more on the home front rather than on the real conflict at the military war front. Many war movies are made with the typical mindset showing the nobility of own forces while harshly criticizing and displaying the villainy of the enemy especially during war or in post war times. Normally war films are political statements trying to boost the political claims about particular war. Moreover, war movies are normally added with some entertainment element as romance, comedy and suspense which may not be true according to history. Such material is added just to make the film worth watching as societies now are getting more and more sensible assessing the results or impacts of such films on them.
Wars films making started in 1898 entitled "Tearing down the Spanish Flag". It was just a propaganda film of 90 minutes showing the Spanish-American war. The film contents were fake, reconstructed version of abduction of Spanish Government in Havana by U.S. Army troop’s week (Pearcy 2014; Lemiffe 2012).
It is equally true that, after the making of first war film, film-making has been improved a lot of technologically. But it is yet a fact that mostly movies have a negative impact on societies since movies are the biggest source to generate different types of emotions among people. Some of them may be just informative (Documentary movies) but still those documentaries don’t display the real history and fictitious war movies have normally nothing to do with the reality. Many war emotions do carry deep emotions in them but in the end the overall impact is negative marking veterans angry about the false information shown in the film (Lemiffe 2012).
According to research conducted by McIntyre et al., 2007, the aggression in human can be linked to many factors like psychological, physiological and evolutionary components. Political aggression about war and political opinion about war plays another role in generating the aggression in human. Research conducted on sex differences in political aggression involves two things:
- High level of women political power influences country’s histories of both interstate and internal conflicts
- Simulated war games simulating a person ruling the world. In war simulated games, men spend most of country’s revenue on country’s enhancing country’s military capabilities rather than females
Another form of difference between gender aggressions is that men normally do physical attacks in anger while females do verbal attacks in anger. However, aggression can be defined "The will to control others" or in other words it is the loss of control that appears in the form of physical attack in men's case and verbal attack in women's case (McIntyre et al. 2007).
War games are designed from the real experimental world space to screen based technologies represented in visual forms. War games are being developed having a manhood mindset. But multiple online role playing games are getting popular among females these days, as well. Most of the war games require extensive communication among peers to proceed ahead and achieve collective goals best example of this is the war games being played on Facebook. The underlying environment of such games provides flexibility for intensive communication and in return this communication and collaboration are shaped in the form of achieving collective goals. This underlying collaboration mechanism develops a culture and has a direct impact on how to proceed in the game (Dickey 2011).
Games and virtual worlds have become a very important source of learning. The architecture of visual games has directly or indirectly influenced the behavior of people playing them. The embedded aggression of war games along with the close collaboration of peers who again are filled with aggression generates harsh feelings among individual, and this behavior can be observed no sooner a person loses his temper on minor matters. This is a psychological fact, whatever people see and perceive it is evident from their behavior too. Since visual learning like games is the important source of learning these days that are completely different from traditional pedagogical learning methods, but we must be careful to expose our children to such learning environment as the effects of it may be good and bad, as well. The more control on visual world, more calm can be observed in behaviors of youngsters (Dickey 2011).
Moreover, it is equally necessary to give a message through such films so that people may learn to control their feelings, emotions and anger after watching such movies. This social responsibility has never been fulfilled through any of war films by now. If the only purpose of war movies and dramas is to provoke harsh feelings then, it's worthless to make such movies and dramas. World has already seen many deadly wars, and people are not capable of seeing any other. There must be some proper law for the making of war movies so that societies may not observe adverse affects. Children are more inclined towards movies as this is a single source of entertainment for them in this era. Studies show that war movies affect children a lot especially the age of 15 to 24 years old children (Osofsky 1999). Violent behavior including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can be linked to such movies, and this behavior is increasing in America as the more Hollywood movies are based on war and terror. Exposure to violence through media including cinema and television especially the war movies touches every child to some extent. According to research conducted in US, a typical American child watches about 28 hours of television a week (Pearcy 2014) and till the age of 18, they have seen and are aware of almost 200,000 acts of violence. Video games for children these days are made especially concentrating on the fight, war and terror aspects. These video games are affecting in return again a child adversely. Wars movies, video games and violence rich material on television are generating harsh feelings among children of every age. Many people around them are affected by such feelings especially their family. Children are then hard to control because such feelings equally get flourished as they grow old. Many of the firing and violence incidents in schools are the results of this violent feelings and behavior. Source adopted: Osofsky 1999
Films have a powerful impact on human culture, education, socio-economic status. Millions of dollars are spent to make war movies requiring use of heavy weapons and artillery, and the resulting impact is overall negative. World in these days see more violence in a different culture than before. Many terror attacks can also be linked to the inspiration gained from such movies. The basic negative impacts posed through war movies include:
- Depiction of civilian mortality during war times
- Dominance of collective goals over individual motivations
- Enmity between men in largely male groups along with marginalization and objectification of women
- Showing the reintegration of veterans
Wars films mostly framed World War II as perceived by the American politics through the representation of the Allied Forces and the Nazi German. But the European concept of such war movies specially made on World War II theme is to show the conflict between the civilized settlers and the savage native people. Many war films are produced with the cooperation of the nation's military forces. The United States Navy has been very active in providing support to the development of war movies on World War II theme, the support include the provision of ships and technical guidance, the top gun being the most suitable example. U.S. Air Force has equally contributed a lot in war movies like Big Lift, Strategic Air Command and A Gathering of Eagles. Week (Pearcy 2014).
War has played a vital role in the history of Hollywood movies and the movie makers have tried hard to show the heroic and horrific sides of the biggest human conflicts. The first academy award was given to a silent film based on World War I called Wings that showed the airy dogfight scenes to some extent in a very realistic manner. Two years later another movie named “The Quiet” was awarded this prestigious award for the best portrayal of the darker sides of the war, the sacrifices of the soldiers and the long lasting impacts of war on societies. Wars movies concentrate more on the characters rather than the actual historical events as is done in Top Gun.
There is no glory in the war but still cinemas see such movies to a larger extent. What is the intention of making such movies? The only intention behind such movies is to show the heroic acts of a nation's military combatants despite the fact that it has lost the war. Does that mean to gather the soft feelings of the people or just to highlight the political emotions? Hiding realities, concentrating on individual characters (holding a cigarette and a gun in hands), fostering political propaganda are the only themes of war movies. There is no doubt in claiming that no country's military is cowardly, but it is equally not good to show the nation's army suppressing and smashing other nation's army. Every nation has firm believe in its military capabilities, then why war movie boosting the extraordinary powers and skills a military can have? If it is required to make war films at all, it is equally required to show the realities of history in them. It is unethical to show one nation being suppressed by another and this is the reason one can see the tension among many nations these days; the best example is endless tension between India-Pakistan.
How can young generations be saved from the negative effects of war movies? This is a question mostly researchers and critics are trying to find out answer these days. One can’t bind children from watching such movies as they hear about them from their peers and the movie stuff is equally available on the internet as well so it becomes very hard to control youngsters developing hatred to other nations. What has America achieved by making many war films, the result is it has itself been targeted by the same means (Terrorist attack on America 9/11) as it shows in fictitious war films. We must not forget such war movies are an alternate source for the criminal minds to make new plans to show violence in society. People are having lack of love and peace emotions for other nations boosting, it will be the best among all as perceived by the war movies. Although making films is a business and concerned persons must take it from business perspective and business does demand ethics. It is no liable to anyone to make money keeping aside the moral and ethical values of a particular field week (Pearcy 2014).
Source adopted: Dickey 2011
Most of the Americans have not experienced or witnessed war that had been taken place at US territory.They are just given the image of how American soldiers fight in the war through war films. If one asks a naïve American what a war is? He/she would answer what he/she has seen in war movies. In 1914 D.W. Griffith recreated Civil War battles for his infamous movie "Birth of a Nation" that movies impressed the military so much that he became the only authorized propaganda movie maker for the Allied Forces in World War I (Paul 1989). Films can not represent the actual historical events while films try to recreate the events and only few of them have been successful in portraying the real picture of war (Linda & Michaud 1999 p.118). These all movies have social, political and economic agendas as discussed.Filmmakers try to connect with the people in the audience through their films, indulge in their certain beliefs, ideals, positions and the above all to make money. Every war film tries to build myths of the past events to create ideologies for the present. One must be having sound judgments to differentiate between his myths and the realities as a society.
Conclusive analysis of the war movies and their effects on societies proved that no war film has generated a positive impact on any society by now. Most of the war films were based on World War II, and the Vietnam War trying to pottery the wrong propaganda about military capabilities. However it is true that the modern war films are now trying to show more realities than the past and the best example of this is the movie "The Black Hack Down". In making any war film, it is the ethical responsibility of the filmmaker to consider the pros and cons of any such movie and its negative impact on the society. The world is not in a position to see another fierce war like World War II; world already has lost many, sacrificed many lives in such wars and the war movies can ignite the fire among nations to hold the weapons again for another battle. Does this all worth it?
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