Monday, December 20, 2010

The Language of Media - Part 3

In Matthew 10:16, “Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.” NIV I think a case could be made that today’s wolves represent our media culture. If we are to be shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves, we need to understand media literacy. If we are going to be successful expanding the Kingdom of God, we must know what we believe and why we believe it. I don’t want the media to define my truth and my beliefs.

All filmmakers, including writers, directors and producers, have a point of view (POV). In fact, we all have a POV. Some people refer to this as a worldview. Our POV defines our attitudes and core beliefs. Without a POV, we would not be able to interpret the world around us. Point of view offers a perspective and insight into how we view politics, religion, social issues and personal lifestyle choices.

The POV of Paul Verhoeven, director of Starship Troupers, has been shaped by his life experiences. As a child, he grew up in The Netherlands, his home country, during the German occupation. He was exposed to a totalitarian and fascist regime that routinely used propaganda to proclaim Nazi superiority. It unquestionably has influenced his political and social views, which are evident in his film Starship Troupers. Understanding the POV helps us to unlock the message within a film, television program or media in general. By using the tools of media literacy, we become more effective in identifying the POV.

Ecclesiastes 8:1 says, “How wonderful it is to be wise, to be able to analyze and interpret things. Wisdom lights up a person’s face softening its hardness.” NLV Understanding the language of media is to be wise. Embracing the concepts of media literacy gives us the ability to analyze and interpret everything we see and hear. I think movies especially have the ability to challenge us to examine our life choices and lifestyles. They can be a doorway to the truth. There have been countless examples of where God has used mainstream films to touch people’s lives. Media is neither evil nor good. It is a conduit that carries whatever message we choose to communicate and by whatever manner we choose to use.

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