1 Pages


WithNathan Andersen

Realist films aim to show real people in real situations, whose lives are often quite different from those of the audience. Through such exposure, viewers are able to expand their conception of the situations that people can face and what they are capable of. They may manage to discover some of the limits of their preconceptions, and to see that people who initially seemed to be foreign to them are not so different in their concerns. Films whose primary aim is to entertain may not seem to be real, but are often realistic enough that their audiences can suspend disbelief. Films that are explicitly reflective can provoke ideas, leading their audiences to ask questions about the reality that presents itself through cinema, or to consider the nature of cinema itself and of why we find it fascinating. Reflecting on cinema can be a part of what Socrates called “the examined life.”