Can't watch movies like "12 Years a Slave" and Holocaust Movies

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by iBlazed, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #1
    I've missed out on a lot of good movies ever since I was around 13, I'm almost 25 now. 12 years of good movies is a lot. Speaking of 12 years, "12 Years a Slave" is one movie I haven't been able to watch. The reason for this is that I avoid movies that depict crimes against humanity because I can't stomach them. I can't stomach seeing someone being whipped or seeing people rounded up and put in cattle trains and gas chambers or shot with a machine gun as they fall into a hole they were forced to dig. I know these movies are made to create awareness, but I feel that I'm very well aware and don't need anymore awareness that humans can be evil. Last one I watched was "The Pianist", that movie pretty much traumatized me from this genre. But at the same time, I feel like I missed out on a lot of great movies and will continue to do so. I kind of wish I could watch them without completely ruining my entire week because I can't get those thoughts of them out of my head. Those images are like temporarily burned into my corneas when I see them. Do any of you avoid these types of movies as well?
     
  2. dgr874 macrumors member

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    #2
    Nope, I don't avoid them at all. In fact, I make sure I watch them and I make my family watch them. Why? So we all learn our history and make sure we don't repeat the bad things.

    How will we know we are going if we don't know where we have been?
     
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #3
    To be fair, movies are not a good way to learn about history, but they might be a useful way to pique one's interest and inspire further research.
     
  4. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #4
    I don't live off movies with those scenes, but I can stomach them enough as to not purposely go out of my way to not watch it.
     
  5. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #5
    Yeah, in high school I actually asked the history teachers to let me know in advance when they're playing those types of movies so I could go sit in the library. The problem is that I can't get the movies out of my head after I see them. Honestly, it probably lasts longer than a week.
     
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #6
    I have no problem watching them, after all, they are just movies.
     
  7. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #7
    That's perfectly reasonable IMO. Some people can handle more than others. I can't really watch things that are exceptionally gory. I don't really get any pleasure out of it. I could watch historical type of movies like the ones you mentioned, but I won't watch straight up gore.
     
  8. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #8
    Ironically enough, I don't mind gory movies like "Saw". I'm perfectly fine with fictional gore, but movies that depict non-fictional crimes against humanity just don't sit well with me. Really is a lot more painful than fiction.
     
  9. dgr874 macrumors member

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    #9
    I disagree completely. Historical movies not only can showcase events in history but they can serve as a great example of how modern society interprets historical events. Both are a great resource for trained historians such as myself.
     
  10. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

    digitalnicotine

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    #10
    @iBlazed: I can't watch those types of films either. I can't even look at the TV when those abused animals commercials are on. Thank goodness we have so many other choices that aren't gut wrenching.

    When I was stationed in Germany, I visited Dachau. I had seen Schindler's List prior to that. The experience of being in the same space, and standing inside the gas chamber where so many were murdered, changed me in a major way. It killed that naive part of me that believed I could make it through my entire lifetime without ever having to choose between what I believed to be right, and my life.

    I think we all have life changing moments that shape us and how we perceive the world. I'm glad you don't force yourself to endure films that upset you. It's a good indicator that you're taking care of you. :)
     
  11. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #11
    Thanks for the very thoughtful reply.:)
    Honestly, I think that kids should see these types of movies, it will help them become better adults. And whenever possible if a family is taking a vacation to Europe kids should be taken to see the camps. I saw and learned my fair share of this stuff growing up, for that reason I think it's safe for me not to have to see it anymore. But it would be nice to be able to watch these movies everyone talks about!
     
  12. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #12
    I think we're speaking of something slightly different. (or we can respectfully disagree:))

    I'm not sure a movie has the capacity to capture, at required length, the subtleties and complexities that would be required for a good historical understanding of a subject. That a movie can showcase a subject in broad strokes or narrowly with great detail, I would agree.

    As for how modern society interprets events, absolutely! But that somewhat gets at my point. How modern societies choose to represent certain historical events through a medium for mass consumption is fascinating because of the limitations of the medium.

    I don't think they're worthless, but to rely solely on movies for one's history education would be a mistake. (And I realize you weren't suggesting that.)

    And also, not being a trained historian, I'm happy to admit that my opinions on history are probably a bunch of hooey anyway. :p
     
  13. kazmac macrumors 601

    kazmac

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    #13
    I understand...

    I got so sick from watching the real life gory car accident movies our student driver teacher showed us, that's partly why I still do not have my driver's license.

    And in regard to the OP, I was in an A student in history for several years from Junior Hight through 10th grade High School until I had a nasty elderly history teacher (who was German) who insisted upon showing Nazi propaganda and Holocaust victim footage in class, I refused to watch them and spoke out about it. He threatened to suspend me for doing so. I said go ahead. He never did and I never watched them. Hello to my only C grade in History.

    Crimes/violence against any innocent people and children are impossible for me watch. So I avoid movies/documentaries like those as well. So OP there is nothing wrong with your choices.

    I do think it's a good thing that these films get made so people can become more educated on what happened (and hopefully not have history repeat itself.)

    I've since read several articles and books on these and they were tough, tough reads. I felt it was important for me to know about the subjects on some level. I just choose not to watch real or fictional takes on the more unpleasant moments in history.
     
  14. dgr874 macrumors member

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    #14
    After reading this, I think we are saying the same thing but from different angles. No disrespect intended and its been a great discussion so far!
     
  15. impulse462, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014

    impulse462 Suspended

    impulse462

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    #15
    I treat movies like art. Sometimes the art becomes graphic but if you want it to be effective at conveying a message, sometimes being graphic is "good" in that sense.
     
  16. albertfallickwa macrumors 6502a

    albertfallickwa

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    #16
    Most difficult movie for me to watch was Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom.

    I found it rather easy to see 12 Years a Slave.
     
  17. Keukasmallie macrumors regular

    Keukasmallie

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    #17
    My basic criterion for movies is simple: If the movie setting and plot could happen for real in the next twenty-four months, I'll watch it. I'm not into "plastic" entertainment where trucks turn into women, dragons eat fighter jets and men transform into chickens.

    While I admire the technology involved, I hate the contrived story lines.
     
  18. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #18
    I can't watch it either. To me, watching TV and movies are a form of entertainment. I'm too stress in real life to spend my free time being sad.
     
  19. Andeavor macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I've stopped watching them as well because I've seen enough of them growing up. Yes, it makes me angry when I see people treating others like scum but once on a while I like watching a film where the oppressed person stands up for themselves in the most genius way. It's akin to a feelgood movie.
     
  20. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #20
    Not an attack on the OP, just my opinion on the subject.

    This is a part of human history that you either deal with or turn away from because you'd rather not contemplate an uncomfortable subject. Would I prefer not to think about it? Sure, but I think there is an obligation to understand the evil that lives in the world, I believe it must be watched to truly understand it's nature, impact, and devastation involved. For example, you might think "whipping", oh that must really hurt and it's mean. Nothing hits home like watching the flesh stripped off someone's back. A movie like Schindler's list made me feel sick. That's a good feeling to have when it comes to this subject and imo you don't really get it until you've seen it. However, I don't seek to watch these kind of movies all the time. They take a toll on me.
     
  21. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I don't seek out movies like this. I find it disturbing and strangely perverse in a way when people seek out and actually enjoy (realistic) torturous type movies/scenes. However, I don't necessarily avoid movies for these reasons either. Movies like American History X and Full Metal Jacket come to mind. Great movies that I'm glad I watched...but they both had some disturbing scenes. I won't entirely avoid a truly good movie just to save myself from a few bothersome scenes.
     
  22. Scepticalscribe, Mar 6, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #22
    Excellent post. Some of the other posts, too, have been very good.

    By profession, I am a trained historian and movies with a historical element inevitably interest me; I will concede that I am hugely intolerant and extraordinarily demanding when a movie attempts to pass itself off as history - one mistake, and my disbelief (suspension of or other wise) intensifies.

    In fact, I prefer accuracy and verisimilitude in movies that purport to be historical ones, rather than mere entertainment. Actually, my concerns about Schindler's List are that the history wasn't robust enough while the sentimentality was liberally laid on with a trowel (both of which are faults of a great many US made movies, I might add).

    From an educational viewpoint, I applaud the fact that such movies are made, especially as increasingly, these days, the study of history (along with historical knowledge and awareness) are being downgraded in much of the western world. This is important stuff, and, if the only way some come across it is through movies, so be it.

    Re stress, yes, it is a component of our lives, and some seek to avoid any element of stress in entertainment. (I'm the opposite; I dislike movies which are classed as mere entertainment, and need to be challenged, and made to think by a movie, otherwise I view the experience of having watched it it as a colossal and complete waste of my time.)

    However, we cannot pretend that these things didn't happen, and we ought not to pass up an opportunity to inform ourselves, even if such comes disguised as entertainment. Whether a desire not to watch some things comes from a desire to protect oneself, or from a desire to cocoon oneself from acknowledgement of such things, (which is possible in the first world), I don't know.

    Moreover, notwithstanding economic collapse, the western world - the first world - is unusually stress free, in term of the wider concerns of the world - and, despite the internet and the communications revolution, unusually uninformed on a great many things.

    Actually, I have worked in the Third World and my experience there is that the educated individuals with whom I work avidly watch the news - especially news depicting current affairs and challenging situations in other countries - and movies, and ask questions of it (and me), discuss serious movies (preferably realistically good ones), and books and interrogate what they have seen in the light of their own experiences, debating and thinking and chewing it over.

    I hadn't expected that, and must say that I found it refreshing, rather than seeking refuge in preference not to watch such things.



     
  23. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #23
    I can watch them, but they're not my preferred genre.
     
  24. Huntn macrumors G5

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    #24
    I don't watch the "Hostel" type movies that are supposed to represent the horror genre. Instead, they are just sick if this is supposed to be entertaining.
     
  25. albertfallickwa macrumors 6502a

    albertfallickwa

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    #25
    I second that. Shock for shock's sake doesn't appeal to me.
     

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