Why people want fantasy and sci-fi movies

To celebrate the autumn study break, a couple of weeks ago the husband, me and two of my siblings went for a nice movie together. We chose to watch a new Flemish one, because the husband and I are huge fans of homemade movies and it was going to be a VERY flemish one (including hardly understandable dialect, marginal characters, tuned cars and hard music).

Although this movie was full of out of proportion stereotypes, it teached me an important lesson.

At the end, my siblings were horrified by the movie, while I thought it was brilliant. I thought it was very down to earth, getting to what it means to be human, along with the dark sides life sometimes has. But my siblings thought otherwise. They said it was too much, too… expressive. They said it was something they just didn’t want to see when going to the movietheater and they found it ‘not realistic because it was unlikely to happen in real life’.

Now you must know, indeed, it was a very expressive movie. There was a very dry sexscene, there were three people who got killed (and you could see their struggle very well), there was a very bold language being used. That’s it.

So why, I wonder, why is this movie so much more ‘unrealistic’ as let’s say, Die Hard, The Transporter or even The Hungergames? Dozens of people get killed in these movies, by people who appear to have super fighting skills and whose body most of us can only dream of. The scenes are far more violent, agression rates are far higher. And really, if you take a look at what is being showed in movietheaters nowadays, there are not so many realistic movies as there are fantasy, sci-fi and action movies. But still people like them!

The only reason, in my humble opinion, why we like these popular movies but the very down to earth movies like the one mentioned above we don’t, is because maybe it gets too close. Maybe it is not because it is unrealistic that people don’t like it, but on the contrary too realistic, too close to our own world. We don’t want too see the humanness of humans. We don’t want to be reminded of the cruel things that deep inside any one of us is able to do. We don’t want to know how fragile life can be and how unstable human relations and actions are.

People want to see heros and people who got it all right, with the right intentions. People want to believe that violence can be justified when done by the right person. Maybe, with all the crazy bad things happening in this world, people don’t want to see that these actions are also all human actions, conducted by humans, raised as humans.

Maybe people need to believe in some kind of superheros who transcend humanness, to forget their own humanness. To forget that we were all born the same: human.

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