Updated: May 7, 2020
It’s been 44 days. I live on a busy street. It took me all morning to motivate myself to run and when I finally did, a woman in an oversized pickup truck yelled at me to “PUT ON A MASK”. She’s right. I shouldn’t run anymore. I have decided I am best inside, doing what I hoped I would when this pandemic started, watching everything.
Now I thought - I have to watch what I put in my mind at this moment. What I choose to watch could drastically shape my mood, so I have to be intentional about my media diet.
Films, when watched correctly, can change your life.
It’s eight pm and my neighbors are shouting for all the heroes going out into the world. Have you seen the Facebook commercial about that? I tear up every time, no matter what. Even if I gather myself, and it replays instantly, I lose it all over again. Not because of the neighbors in the commercial but because of my own neighbors and how rad they are. How in this moment, we are all connected by these scary times.
It’s simple. When you watch something and it shows some aspect of you, a moment you experienced or even a feeling you’ve felt, you are immediately justified. You know someone out there is as weird, different, or insert your desired adjective here, as you.
I started programming films a little over five years ago, although I have felt this was my secret weapon my whole life. I am socially awkward, even if those who know me would say otherwise. Take my word for it. I started watching films and discussing them with anyone who might have an interest. Turns out most people have seen a film in their lifetime. I learned cinema was the great equalizer in any awkward situation.
We are in a more than awkward situation. I invite you to ask yourself, what you are watching? How’s it making you feel?
El Cine is an organization I founded three years ago. I wanted to share films that I knew represented me and other minorities. The goal was to educate through film. Anyone will sit through a movie if someone makes a big hype around it, whether they love it or hate it, they sit there taking in what that director has to say; that way I don’t have to say it.
Next time you want to say something gently: show someone a movie.