The Green Code : Cinematic Communication For Sustainable Behavior

1722 Words Nov 29th, 2014 7 Pages
The Green Code: Cinematic Communication for Sustainable Behavior
In 1906, author Upton Sinclair penned a work of fiction that would change the course of history. His novel, The Jungle, led to the disintegration and reformation of Chicago’s meatpacking industry, which was plagued by managerial corruption and egregious health code violations. Shortly after the novel’s released, the federal government launched an official investigation into the industry and took legal action against the industry (Hevrdejs). Sinclair’s novel demonstrates the power of fiction to create social change. However, since the early 20th century, society has transitioned from a reliance on the written word to a visual culture, where images posses more meaning than prose. Film is an expression of storytelling and narrative, and like literature, it can become part of the discourse on social and environmental issues. Although there is a growing concern that filmmakers are devaluing the severity of environmental issues by accommodating to specific audiences—embedding oversimplified messages in films that target children or lacing messages inside unrealistic, easily dismissed sci-fi films—environmentalists can use audience accommodation to their advantage. Because of its ability to permeate visual culture, film can persuade audiences to adopt sustainable behavior by sending messages that accommodate to all age groups, whose differing needs and comprehension abilities present an immense challenge to creating…

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