Question: Can films really shape how we think and feel?

Answer: Absolutely. Anyone who has ever left the cinema excited, angry, inspired or choking back tears knows that movies aren't "just entertainment." They can touch us deeply, sometimes even impacting our attitudes or behavior. 

Why do films possess such power? The answer may be as simple and timeless as the storytelling approach taken by Jesus Himself. For example, in Matthew 7:24-27 He could've said, "The world is unstable. Follow me." Short and to the point. Ready to move on to the next lesson. (We can tend to instruct our own children that way, which usually elicits little more than a grunt and a nod.) But not the Lord. Instead, Jesus told a story about two aspiring homeowners who built their houses on different foundations. The wise man chose rock. The foolish man trusted in sand. Jesus proceeded to describe a storm that buffeted both structures. One stood up to the elements. The other fell. He concluded by comparing Himself to the solid rock that served as the wise man's starting point. In just four sentences Christ crafted a plot, characters, conflict and a moral to the story. It captivated His audience at an emotional level, which is what makes any message stick.

Now consider the tools available to big-screen storytellers: celebrities, dialogue, music, wardrobe, cinematography, clever editing and special effects. Filmmakers know exactly what they want us to think and feel, and some are experts at making it happen.

From  Copyright©Focus on the Family.  Used by permission.

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