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Here is a new writing task:

#183 Films can tell us a lot about the country where they were made. What have you learned about a country from watching its movies? Use specific details and examples to support your answer in no more than 300 words.

Waiting to hear from you all!


Comments on: "Independent Writing task – Learning about a country through film" (4)

  1. Diego Dutra said:

    Films are maybe the most meaningful cultural element of a society. As a consequence, they are a good source of knowledge of other countries and Hollywood movies is surely the main example of that, since they usually provide us with a good overview of American culture and history.

    Firstly, it is important to notice that almost all movies are full of ideological elements and, therefore, are culturally biased. Rocky IV, starred by Silvester Stalone, is an example of that. This film sumirizes the major events and themes of Cold War – symbolized by the fight between the good and the evil – and foreshadows the fall of communism that was to occur just a few years after its release.

    Even “innocent” movies such as Spiderman or Simpsons are full of cultural meanings that help us to understand more about the United States. They, after all, show us how typical families live in U.S. In Spider-Man, we can see, for example, how common is, in American culture, children leaving home when join university. Simpsons, on the other hand, is a caricature of American life and values and the film’s criticism show us American social, environmental and political problems and how people handle them.

    However, movies are not only a source of deep cultural knowledge, but also a way to know other places, geographically speaking. A variety of movies set in New York, for example, makes the city familiar for many people who have never been there and some simple scenarios turned into important tourist attractions. King Kong, which have presented The Empire State Building as an icon to the world is a good example of that. The Godfather also presented a part of Manhattan which became a symbol of New York’s cosmopolitanism: Little Italy.

    These are just a few examples of how movies can be much more than a source of entertainment. They share with the world important details about other countries and inspire the inherent human curiosity.

  2. The most popular movies in the world are probably the North American ones. Those films can tell a lot about the United States. Action movies usually tell a story about a good guy fighting against an evil guy. The Rambo film for example. Rambo is a soldier who combats any American enemy just by his self. In Rambo I the enemy was inside the own North American territory. They were communists. The international scenary was the Cold War and anyone aligned to the Russians was a potential risk to “world’s security”. Rambo is a perfect methaphora of how United States was conducting its international imperialistic politics.

    Some other movies try to be more realistic and are also good pictures of North American culture. Mel Gibson was starring a movie telling the Independence history. The movie story is about real historic happenings but the way that is conducted tells just the North American side. The English are the big enemy this time.

    A more recent film is about the terror war. An army squad work in Iraq to solve bomb problems faced by North American soldiers. This film however show both side of the reality. American presence in Iraq helped to put down a dictatorial regime but at the same time the local population’s opinion was not asked any time. The background is the control of strategic oil mines.

    Action movies can also be mixed with ficction. In Independence Day, the president fights against aliens trying to destroy the world, starting by the White House. In this case, the story background is the World Trade Center incident. The most important North American citizen is the president and he is also a hero figuring out how to overcome the foreign treath. They evoke the nationalism. The film Independence Day and many other can show a strong felling that most North Americans share: the proud to be from United States.

  3. Aaron santos said:

    Surely movies are the best way to have a clear picture of a society as it sumarizes the key factors behind the population, that is, its culture, archiqueture, language etc..However, itis important to take care on the information that we assimilate, since most of the movies tend to be biased.

    In general, Hollywood is a great way to dive deep into the American culture, as an example, despite a lot of people around the world have never visited the US, they surely know commom habits, like their great passion for American football, beiseball, basketball, as well their tendency to buy big cars instead of the enviromently friendly ones, the famous high school prom balls and so on. On the other hand, the lifes that they tend to present are usually a fairy tale.
    On the other hand, European movies tend to show the real life, i.e., the common political,family, prejudice and business issues. I could spend a day giving examples such as: Edukators(Germany), Volver (Spain)etc…
    To conclude, movies can be one of the best ways to understand an unkown culture, but it is always important to contrast the information provided by them with books, internet etc..

  4. Thais Rosa said:

    Cinema is the most incredible cultural industry that shows a lot about one country and their history.
    Every place shows your own history by movies and we can learn about watching films.
    The germany expressionism was a movement begining in Germany after the first world war during 1920.
    This period was hard economics times and it was difficult for the filmakers to creat movies like the americans coming from Hollywood outstanding. So they decided to developed their own style by using symbolism and mise en scene to add mood and deeper meaning to movies.
    Almost this films was focus in dark friges of human experience.The plots and history of the expressionists films often dealt with madness, insanity and betrayal.
    For example The Gabinete of Dr Caligari, a man named Francis relates a story about his best friend Alan and his fiancée Jane. Alan takes him to a fair where they meet Dr. Caligari, who exhibits a somnambulist, Cesare, that can predict the future. When Alan asks how long he has to live, Cesare says he has until dawn. The prophecy comes to pass, as Alan is murdered, and Cesare is a prime suspect. Cesare creeps into Jane’s bedroom and abducts her, running from the townspeople and finally dying of exhaustion. Meanwhile, the police discover a dummy in Cesare’s cabinet, while Caligari flees. Francis tracks Caligari to a mental asylum.
    All this freak histories came to the country that also was passing for a world history.
    So we can learn a lot watching this movies and compare about the time history.

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