Film Empowerment

Often when I listen to podcasts, (-and I know I’m not alone here-), I find myself in a super-indulgent fantasy where I consider what I would talk about if someone were to interview me for whatever the topic of discussion.

In one of my new favorite series from the On Being studio, This Movie Changed Me, people discuss their favorite films at great length, revealing what it is about these movies that stuck with them throughout the years and had a hand in their personal development.

I think about the many films I've seen in my life and which ones I've watched continuous times to the point where I begin to see it on a much deeper, somewhat obsessive level. What film do I love so much that I want to share that love with the world? Since someone already spoke so brilliantly about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I can't get through What Dreams May Come these days without crying (and because my passionate review of Josie and The Pussycats might not be taken seriously enough), I think to the film I'd seen most recently, one that had me leaving the theater with an unwavering energy and admiration.

As Gloria Steinem identifies in the film RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a close thing to a real-life superhero, and viewers need strong female characters to look up to and aspire to be like. While RBG is a documentary about a real-life powerhouse, this is less about looking up to the clever characterization of a superhuman using abilities to fight crime and more about understanding and aspiring to live like this elderly woman who succeeds in dedicating her life to serving justice.

This is a story we desperately need today.

The portrayal of Ruth in RBG offers a revitalization of the human spirit, especially in the days of such political divide and social turmoil. Her consistent determination ignites a passionate spark for choosing a pathway toward your own career, one that helps you consider how to utilize your interests and talents along with the innate desire to do better for the world and others. As the progressive b-side love story unfolds and reveals the bond between Ruth and Marty, romanticism lends an inner strength to the viewer, promoting a practice for healthy self-love in hopes for finding a true partner, one who is respectful, supportive, and understanding.

The greatest films are the ones that employ all aspects of film language to tell a story with a message that resonates with a viewer beyond one viewing. Today, and as creators, all need to consider this as we develop content that matters, as media has such a strong, at times subconscious effect on the people who absorb it.

When we watch a documentary film about a supreme court justice who dedicates her full life to using her particular skills in order to make a real difference for the betterment of the lives of all women in our country, we are learning more than just a current history lesson. We leave the theater with a newfound respect for a woman we have no personal connection with, and we begin thinking of what we can do to follow in similar footsteps.

The power of film transcends, and in a world where media is all-encompassing, this is a power we must now recognize, embrace, and, as content creators, learn to harness ourselves.