Cinematography is an important human innovation in the twentieth century. No other human endeavor has gained as much recognition among public as that of filmmaking in modern time. Its impact is far beyond the vision of eyes and the province of entertainment. It has hijacked the budding spirit of growing generation and dictates to its command and influence. Undoubtedly it has altered the way life is look at.

Long ago, there used to be prophets, saints and dignified spiritual beings that happened to be the exemplary figures in the society. Ideals of life emanated from their footprints of living and doing.

As time progressed, ideal personage from the political arena took the center stage in guiding the community. Leaders of prominence and dignity inspired the masses.

The ascension of rational thinking and logical wisdom witnessed scientists and writers as acknowledged professionals in guiding humanity to the rank of marked accomplishment. They caused false dogmas die and occupied worthy status in social reawakening.

But the birth of cinematography inspired a different bearing of persuasion and revolutionized the art of making film to the point of incredible influence. The film glitz became the new defining symbol that brought actors and actresses to be our representatives. They became the spokespersons of the time. Their manner, dress and smile became precious gem for the masses.


As a result, parents no longer remained the citadel of guiding principles; husband and wife no longer remained ideal for each other; teachers no longer remained an iconic figure and so forth. Instead singers, dancers, musicians and other characters from the screen life took over the assignment of educating and training, and a new doctrine of life was dictated.

The tragedy with living generation is that they have invented a “false” image of reality in their life. The loyalty has shifted more to the fake world of impression than that to the act of authenticity. Their devotion is pointless. The trend poses a dilemma of action and contemplation. The struggle for identity based on make-believe characters in film has become a characteristic present-day phenomenon.

The cinema and television foster a kind of daydreaming that cripple to the apprehensions of the real world. They debase the medium of social intercourse, language, and when that happens, ‘the whole machinery of social and individual thought and order goes to pot’, as Ezra Pound puts it.

As important is the fact that night after night a selection of programmes of inane triviality sterilizes the emotions and standardizes the outlook and attitudes. The implication is that many people live fantasy existences derived from the shadow lives of the screen. To use D. H. Lawrence’s terminology, such ‘idealisation’ implies the death of the dynamic personality.

The present generation needs to be taught a heavy dose of realism. They should know that life is not about what is depicted in film but resides in pains and trials, in day-to-day activities of joys and happiness. Living in denial of existing realities and clinging to illusions are the worst forms of ignorance.

It is at this juncture literature comes to play a decisive role in creating social and experiential awareness. It is this urgency that demands more from writers to counteract the superficiality of life in film as advocated by Dr. Leavis ‘a real interest in literature is an interest in man, society and civilization’.

Searching meaning in the character of religion is one more aspect of philosophic realism that guards man from false idolization of a person and inspires in one the act of genuine bond with the creator. The ultimate struggle of divinity is “a perpetual quest for reality”.

The worthy leaders and rational scientists are other inspiring figures in society that well serve the goal to the attainment of pragmatic values. While pragmatism is accountable to reason and akin to wisdom, daydreaming is comparable to absurdity.

It is time a personal choice is made in the direction for a conviction and belief that award vital and lasting experience with the truth and perpetuates an individual in the total rejection of fabrication and deception of tinsel world. Failing to neutralize the false impression is to deny the real possibilities of living experiences.


Published in Print: The Tripoli Post, Oct.30-Nov.5, 2010, Libya


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Categories: Education


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