How does or doesn't Hollywood intentionally shape our worldviews?

Brian: Logical argumentation is not the only way we as human beings are persuaded. In fact, good or bad, a lot more persuasion is accomplished in this world through emotional and story-driven argumentation. Story persuades through the vicarious identification of the audience with the hero. As we root for the hero, we subconsciously identify with him or her. As the hero goes through his character arc of changing the way he views the world, so we tend to join them until we find ourselves in the very character of the hero and their new viewpoint. The effect is not unlike the parable used by Nathan to draw David into his own epiphany by analogizing David's immoral behavior in the form of a fictional story. As David responds to the story with righteous indignation, so he is able to see that his own life is terribly out of line and in need of redemption.
What is your hope for the readers of Hollywood Worldviews?

Brian: My hope is that I may challenge all sides to rethink their own views. I would beg the cultural anorexic to reconsider the good that they are missing out on and even denying as they retreat from all movies. I would plead with the cultural glutton to be more discerning about what they watch because they are being affected in a negative way from the bad that they are ignoring. And I would hope to provide the balanced viewer with the kind of tools to interact redemptively with the other extremes around them.

Brian Godawa is an award-winning screenwriter who has taught and written on film and philosophy, screenwriting, and the art of watching movies.

Used by permission.  InterVarsity Press © 2002