Thursday, April 22, 2021

Movies reflect human needs: Storytelling

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

ThemeMovies reflect human needs...

Storytelling


Photo of one my many journals.

I had another topic prepared for the letter S, but when I posted my theme reveal in March, an A to Z team member and storyteller from Hungary, Zalka Csenge Virág asked, "... is storytelling a universal need?" 

And that got me to thinking... storytelling isn't specifically listed as a universal human need (except as it might tie into "self-expression" and "communication") but it truly is universal, and humans need stories of all kinds, but especially our own stories.

Last year I read Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt by Arthur C. Brooks, and a chapter titled Tell Me a Story resonated with me. In it he writes...
"When we tell stories, our brains unite, giving us the chance to at least understand one another, whether we ultimately agree or disagree. We can break down prejudice and division--we can defeat myside bias and induce openness..."
He also states...
"When human stories are present, good things happen. But the opposite is also true: a storyless person disappears. In Ancient Rome, a punishment worse than death for a criminal was damnation memoriae, or "condemnation of memory," in which all traces of the person would be expunged, down to chipping their faces off statues." [boldness added]
So although fictional stories are dearly important, and all films are a form of storytelling, for the sake of focus and space I selected movies based on published stories about real people, or their memoirs. 

In previous posts this month I've tried to note when a film was based on a true story (I may have missed a few). Here are some more...

Lion (2016)
The Music of Silence (2017) ("My Take" review found here.)
Tracks (2013)


Do you keep a journal? Are you writing a memoir? Does your family have treasured stories passed down through generations? Has there been a time when learning someone's story helped you understand them?


(Note: The movies listed might not be completely family-friendly. See my "Movie Content" information on the blog's sidebar.)


16 comments:

  1. Even movies based on real people have some fictional elements so I guess that's what make them stories instead of documentary.

    I sometimes just prefer to enjoy the story, knowing they are based on true stories doesn't matter much to me. It's the story, the main point, that matters.

    Have a lovely day.

    My A-Z posts are here.

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    1. For sure, that's one reason movies indicate they are "based" on a true story. There's no intent to indicate every detail is completely true. (Even most documentaries have fictional elements, too.)

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  2. I agree with the universality of storytelling, and how people can be remembered through its stories.
    I wrote a journal when we were traveling and sailing. Now it's blogging about quilting, for documenting my projects. Another kind of journal 😉

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    1. I'm so glad you mentioned other types of journals! Blogs, photo journals, social media... so many ways to share our stories!

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  3. I've kept a journal since I was about 12. I often ask myself what I will ever do with it, but I keep going with it nonetheless!
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2021/04/22/the-state-trilogy-a-z-guide-s/

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    1. Since you were 12? That is awesome!

      I use cursive handwriting in my journals, and now I wonder if my descendants will even be able to read them since many schools have ceased teaching cursive. (Do schools in Scotland teach cursive script?)

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  4. As soon as we realize that the movie is based on a true story, it makes a whole lot of difference. I usually get hooked on to google search to find out more of what happened...
    I would say Erin Brockovich, Brave Heart, and The Imitation Game are some great movies based on truth. Surprisingly I found that Changeling was also based on true story. Love coming here and recollecting the memories of great movies I have enjoyed.

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    1. Thanks for adding those film suggestions. I haven't seen Changeling but I wasn't aware it was based on a true story! Amazing.

      I smiled when you mentioned searching google for more information. My husband and I do that too. And I always like to check sites that give a comparison between which parts are fact and which parts fictional.

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    2. I recommned you to watch Gooseling.. Jolie has given the best performance of her life in that movie.

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    3. Sounds intriguing. I looked it up at our local library and they have the DVD! Thanks for the recommendation.

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  5. I've kept a journal since I was nine (and yes, written in cursive, too!). I don't think my life will ever be made into a movie (or probably not a very interesting one, anyway), and I'm not sure whether historians will be interested, either. I just enjoy keeping it.
    Black and White: S for Shangri-La

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    1. That's wonderful you've kept a journal since age nine! What a treasure! I imagine you see a journey of growth and change over the years (as I mention in my post for the letter T... Transformation.

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  6. I definitely keep a journal but pretty sure no one is going to make it into a movie any time soon!

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    1. Same here... my journals won't make an interesting movie. But let's hope our descendants appreciate knowing us better through our personal stories!

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  7. I always keep a journal when I travel, and a daily gratitude journal. As far as storytelling, I was thinking about the films I've seen about dance or dancers, something I love. The two that came to my mind are "Desert Dancer" about a man in Iran who defies the ban on dancing to form his own dance troupe to perform in secret, and "White Crow" about Rudolf Nureyev. Memoirs in film are fascinating. I am writing a memoir about my walk across Spain in 2019 on the Camino de Santiago.

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  8. I haven't seen either of the films you mentioned. I love getting these recommendations!

    Your memoir sounds fascinating... what an adventure!

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