In 1925 the leader of the Soviet Communist party, Vladimir Lenin, stated that cinema is the greatest among all of the arts. Russian emperors used movies as a propaganda tool and monopolized the whole market. In the 20th century the Soviet people associated and understood movies as the government’s property. Soviet movies were not considered as a medium, which can express the majority’s voice. Although Young (2009) argues that movies are equipment for living, during the Soviet times movies were equipment for controlling and ruling as well. I believe the ideas in the articles that I read this week are suited for a democratic society but for in-transition society it should be considered in another way.
People in less developed parts of the world tend to believe in American’s scientific movie’s plots. Lowe (2006) and Barriga (2010) give us an example of the effects of the movies on gender and perception. However, western movies dominate the movie production world and other culture’s cinematography under the western expansion. An example would be Terminator, Star Wars or Avatar.
Hollywood is producing a lot of movies and the American movie industry is motivated to follow certain type and genre through cinema award like Oscars. These movies influence not only culture but create stereotypes about American culture and produce Americanized movies. As a result I think foreign audiences are weak against the content in movies and more readily accept fantasy as a truth.
First of all, there is difference between American and Kazakhstan education systems; one focuses on critical thinking while the latter focuses more concentration on memorizing the material. The Kazakh audiences in 1990 could not critically observe the content of American movies. Psychological shock after the collapse could not allow for the analyzing of foreign movies target goals. Secondly, there is a perception that American scientists are successful and able to conduct a research in different scientific fields, such as, global warming or asteroids (Lowe, 2006). Kazakhstan inherited from the Soviet system mostly military and agriculture fields of research. Scientific research is exporting ideas from the U.S. As a result the possibility that false information in the American movies can be understood as a truth increases. Third, scientific terms in English language movies presented in Russian or Kazakh translation are trustworthy and can be accepted as academic terms.
After reading the articles the idea that movies can be used as equipment that helps to understand the world (Young, 2009) or to establish new knowledge came to me. I think, how to use an instrument, (i.e. movie) depends on personal experience of each individual. If the viewer is never taught to watch American movies from a critical perspective, this person can easily follow the emotion of the movies. This is exactly the situation that happens in countries with an authority regime found in most Asian countries. A good example of this can be found in K-Pop or Korean drama’s popularity among the Asian youth. Europe and American viewers have an antidote against the foreign movies, because they can think freely and openly. However Asian countries, with their diverse cultures, follow the entertainment and the booming Korean dramas. A similar situation was with Indian movies 20 years ago.
In conclusion, I think movies can influence people’s decisions or perceptions. Nonetheless behavioral change is weaker in democratic societies than in a country where cinema is counted as the greatest art. The scholars should consider audience differences in Western culture and Asian culture’s when conducting future research.