Politically-themed Movies

Okay, so I believe it's official policy that we do not talk politics here on IT, and I agree with that policy. Political discussions can easily get heated and that would get in the way of discussing filmmaking. I've been guilty of violating this rule at some times in the past, and that is not what I'm trying to do here.

Please, in this thread, let's not talk politics.

Except, I'd like to pose the following question -- could Political Film be the next Christian Film?

In the 70's, they called them Message Movies. I propose that we call them Political Films. I think a lot of comparisons could be made between the early 70's and right now. At that time, there was a social climate that was very receptive to films that had very overt political themes. Is that also true of the late 20teens?

It has been proven that there is a very active market for Christian Films. For argument, I would point out that statistically speaking, Christianity is on a steep decline in America, and atheism is on the rise. Does this represent a new niche market that is yet to be tapped? As an atheist Christian (I know it sounds weird, it's complicated), I can tell you that I'd personally love to see more movies that tap into my political psyche.

I for one plan to find out how receptive an audience I might find, and I'd encourage others to do the same. Your thoughts?
 

PaulWrightyThen

Pro Member
indiePRO
IOTM Winner
I'm trying to think of a good positive atheist movie. But then I go back to demons and Gods because they are such fun!

Did I mention I'm an atheist? I'm an atheist (playing up to the sterotype) ;)

On a side note, how does a atheist christian work? (dm if not for open discussion if you like :) )
 
On a side note, how does a atheist christian work? (dm if not for open discussion if you like :) )
No, of course I'm happy to answer that question. I mean, I'm making a movie about it, hahaha. :)

I very much believe in science, and that means that I don't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. Like, you know, God. I have zero belief in the existence of God because there is zero scientific evidence for their existence.

But I was raised Catholic, and those values are still instilled in me. Though I no longer believe in a magical ghost in the sky, I absolutely still believe in the The Golden Rule. I absolutely still do my best to follow in the footsteps of Christ. So far as I'm concerned, that makes me Christian. :)
 
Also, the reason I started this thread isn't to promote atheism or atheist movies, though I'd defend their right to exist. No, I'm talking about Political Films, which may or may not be atheist.

For the record, my next film is going to be Political as SHIIITTT!!! But it will also be Christian. I believe those two things can go together. :)
 
When it comes to narrative films there is the division between fiction and non-fiction. The latter often being biographies. When it comes to fiction: politics is often a setting, genre is more important.
And the question rises: when is a movie a political movie?
Many futuristic/dystopian movies (where society has not been wiped out) are about injustice and an underdog challenging the (corrupt) system. Often politics have to do something with this.

The Manchurian Candidate (thriller about creating a fake hero for the elections)
Brazil (dark comedy set in the insanity of an absolute bureaucracy)
The Hunger Games (action/adventure set in a divide and conquer style ruled dystopia)
Idiocracy (a funny comment on bad education and living fact free)
Some Star Trek episodes (of the original series) have some very political (or humanistic?) messages commenting on he cold war or inequety (spelling?). Can't recall the title but there is one where Kirk gives short speech about avoiding violence.
Running Man (with Arnold) and Gamer (2009) share this gladiator like entertainment with The Hunger Games, but in these the heroes are also scapegoats in a corrupt system.
Iron Cross: a strange steampunk SF comedy about space Nazis influencing US elections.

All of the above have something to do with politics, but are the really political movies?

The Great Dictator is a political comedy and a real classic of course. The speech in the end is phenominal and in a way more a loving humanist/spiritual cry from the heart than a truly political opinion.
The Wave: about a teacher explaining how Hitler could rise to power by starting a movement in school. Pretty impressive.

Documentaries seem more fit to really make a political statement.
Where to invade next (questioning what is normal in the US)
Bowling for Columbine (it is about society, but is surely political as well... actually Micheal Moore is a politically engaged filmmaker, no matter whether you agree with his views or not)
Hypernormalisation (haven't watched it yet: about the constructed simplification of our 'reality')
The Power of Nightmares (about the rise of neoconservatism and militant jihadist islam)

Some of these examples not only seek to analyse but also to trigger discussion about policy.

Difficult subject, because: what is the definition?
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
In my opinion, there are political movies and movies about politics - and some combine both attributes. I prefer movies that bury a message within entertainment, rather than hitting me over the head with it - even when I agree with that message.

Tossing out a few of my favorite political movies (and I love the original Manchurian Candidate btw) in no particular order:
Game Change
The Candidate (came out the year my dad ran for Congress so holds a special place in my heart)
Bob Roberts
Wag the Dog
All the President's Men
Bullworth
Primary Colors
The Ides of March
The War Room
Election
Re-Count
 
I think politics as an institution is probably better served by TV than movies (and it has been recently - The West Wing, Veep, House of Cards just for the US executive branch, for example). Any attempt to condense such labyrinthine machinations into two hours is going to cut a lot of corners.

But I think almost every movie I've ever liked has been 'political' to some degree or other, whether it comments on curtailing individual freedoms, or prejudice, or disillusionment or whatever. If you want to make a political point, then arguably the best way is to avoid depicting the machinery of politics at all.
 
I prefer movies that bury a message within entertainment, rather than hitting me over the head with it - even when I agree with that message.
YASSSS!!!!! This is exactly what I'm struggling with at this moment. I want the movie to be entertaining, but I'm totally trying to make a political point. Where is the balance?. Also, thanks for that great list of movies I should watch. :)

I think politics as an institution is probably better served by TV than movies (and it has been recently - The West Wing, Veep, House of Cards just for the US executive branch, for example). Any attempt to condense such labyrinthine machinations into two hours is going to cut a lot of corners.
But, what if the movie is about a songwriter, and so every time they express their political views, it's because they're writing a song? Idunno, we about to find out, cuz this movie is gonna be political as shit! :lol:

Does Starship troopers count?
I'd say yes, but it's not really on the same level of a movie like Bullworth, as far as political discussion is concerned. What I'm bringing up in this thread is that maybe there is an audience that wants movies that are explicitly political, and Mara made some great examples of movies that have done that recently.

But the time for filmmakers to make Political Films is NOW. They've worked before, and they'll work even better NOW.

Right. Now.

Go on and make that Political Film.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I don't often go to the movies to hear someones political views. Even if
I hold those views. I have no desire to express my political views in a
movie I make. Mostly because I don't believe YOU want to see a movie
expresses MY political views. Perhaps one would want to see a movie
that supports your views but do people really want to see a movie that
supports views they do not hold?

To the original question; could Political Film be the next Christian Film,
I don't know that the Political Film ever has been marginalized into a
niche as the Christian Film has. So I don't see a comparison there.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
poitical biopics are good sometimes.

I think that oliver stone does a great job with political films, and i hope when they make a movie about this current election they put him at the helm.

I thought I would hate 'W' but stone did such a great job humanizing him I had to appreciate the movie

I have ZERO interest in propaganda.
 
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