Humanizing Politics

A major element that reoccurs in many forms of political media, whether it be television, film, or literature, is the attempt to humanize the politics and the events surrounding them. Bombay did this by following the story of a small family, whose odds were set against them from the beginning of the film. From the very start of their relationship, Shekar and Shaila fought to be together. Due to their difference in beliefs, Shekar being Hindu and Shaila being Muslim, the two had to go against their families’, society’s, and religions’ expectations. This difference in religion was the center of the film, using the couple’s differences and struggles as a segue into a larger political discussion.


But…let’s take a moment to go beyond the discussion of Bombay and politics in cinema.

There are several other forms of media that are used to humanize “political” discussions – short films, short stories, documentaries, novels, television shows, journalism, etc. While I know this post is meant to be dedicated to politics in cinema, I’m taking a chance and straying from the topic. While I started this post with the intention of focusing on Bombay, recent events and other political discussions have taken over my attention, and I can’t bring myself to ignore them. But first, a quick backstory:

I entered college as a photojournalism major, hoping to make a difference in the world by sharing stories that would otherwise be unheard. While I am no longer majoring in photojournalism, the experiences that I had while reporting and the work that my fellow peers have done have had a major impact on my life and my worldview. This is why in class discussions I often bring up the role of media, how it is portrayed, and the effects it has on the story being told.

That being said, I want to share examples of how various forms of media offer the chance for the unheard to be heard – for the political to become personal. In light of it being Pride, some of these examples will be focusing on the LGBTQ+ community.

Note: I do not claim copyright to any of these videos.

1.Imagine a World where being “Gay” was the Norm and being “Straight”was the Minority [Short Film]

2. In-Between [Documentary]

Video created and edited by Emily Harger

3. Formation [Music Video]

Copyright: (C) 2016 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment

4. Cherokee [Documentary]

This video is only a very small portion of a larger multi-media project. This short clip is from a section called “Spirits of the Land.” I encourage you to visit to view the project as a whole.