Art as Activism

We saw SYRIANA last night, and I went to bed thinking about it and woke up doing the same. Go see this movie! It's not only good entertainment, it's a pretty potent statement about oil, the U.S., terrorism, and the price one pays to do good or what passes for good. I'd like to compile a list of entertainment vehicles (film, books, TV) that use their forums to get out a message that needs broadcasting, while at the same time giving people a ride into the dark side they're willing to pay for. Photographs deliver a potent message, one that's immediate in the instant they're snapped. Films require more of an amusement value. People aren't as willing to sit through them as they would be to slog through a book everyone is reading, even if it's as dense as granite. Television offers such a vast array of shows, it's even harder to get people to sit still and watch something that isn't light or fluffy. THE GIRL IN THE CAFE' is a prime example of stellar television that kept me hanging onto its every word, its every plot turn. I also learned a heck of a lot about the G8, world hunger, and the death toll in Africa.

I wish my fiction drove people into action to right wrongs and do what's right. Think of CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY. What a novel! All I can do, so far in my career, is shine a light in the dark corners of the individual human experience as my characters live it, and hope the revelation spreads luminosity and healing once the last page is turned. If the stories are entertaining as well, I'll be halfway there.