Religion in American Film Essay

3865 Words 16 Pages
Religion in American Film

American’s nation-wide did a disbelieving double take when they were heard that Jim Carrey was going to be playing the role of God in Universal Pictures summer 2001 movie Bruce Almighty. Millions of American’s have found themselves near-obsessed with the engrossing epic Lord of the Rings, Dogma has been welcomed into the Cult Films Hall of Fame, and Mel Gibson’s The Passion stirred an overwhelming amount of religious, cultural, and ethnic criticism. When looking at the recent array of films that either present or suggest religious themes – whether it be allegorically, evangelically, or satirically – we find ourselves asking the question “why now?” Is the reason for this upsurge sociological, psychological,
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As a result, the creators of media go to extreme lengths to research and discover those subjects and ideas that will prove interesting and valuable enough for people to invest their time and money. If a society is experiencing anxiety with regards to politics, the environment, or family values, it is a guarantee that media professionals are aware of this and exploring ways in which to exploit these anxieties in such a way that will ensure profits and revenues for their company. It is no wonder, for example, that in the decade 1983 to 1993, issues related to race, age, ecology, family, education, addiction, abortion, violence, gender, class, and United States foreign policy – among many others – permeated popular films.

The overall result of this is that the mass media acts as a mirror of society itself, reflecting back to its audience the values and ideologies which they prompted it to create. Stone offers that film is a source of revelation about ourselves and our world – it serves as a “sign of the times” (pg. 4). Film reveals what we value most as human beings, while asking our deepest questions, expressing our mightiest rage, and reflecting our most basic dreams. However, there is an endless circle

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