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Illustration of Major Themes in Movies Research Paper

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Updated: May 20th, 2019


Movies are not only entertaining, but are also educative. Moviemakers use movies to bring out varied themes, trends, concepts, and stereotypes that are prevalent in the society. The society ought to identify its shortcomings and correct them by watching movies, which are in most cases organized in a manner to expose the weaknesses and ills in the society.

Among the themes, trends, concepts, and stereotypes included in most of the movies include globalization, social disorganization in the society, invasion-succession, and gentrification. This paper will look at globalization and social disorganization as some of the trends and themes evidenced in the Red Dawn Movie and The Red Tail documentary.

Red Dawn Movie

Plot summary

The movie involves Matt, a former high school footballer and Jed, a war veteran. The two attempt to contain an American incursion by the North Korean soldiers. The soldiers capture Jed’s father together with Matt’s girlfriend, forcing Matt and Jed to flee to the mountains to escape from the kidnappers.

From the hideouts, Matt and Jed organize a ragtag group comprising of teenagers that Jed trains based on his experience in the battlefield and establishes a group of freedom fighters dubbed “Wolverines”. Eventually, things changes in the US with some people supporting the freedom fighters and thus others lose their lives in the process.

Ultimately, Jed and Matt manage to rescue the US from the Korean forces sending a warning to the Korean forces that it is suicidal to play around with true freedom. Initially, the movie included the Chinese as the villains, but had to change and include the Koreans due to negative reception the movie got in China.

The Globalization trend

Globalization has a significant effect in all industries including the movie industry. It dictates on the production of the movies. Initially, the Chinese were the villains in the Red Dawn. However, the film received negative criticism in China, which compelled the filmmakers to change the villains and use the North Korean forces. China and the US have close economic ties.

Globalization has led to the two countries relying on each other for economic development. Hence, it implies that for the two nations to have a cordial relationship, they have to ensure that no products and services send a negative image about the other nation. Using the Chinese as the villains in the movie meant that the movie would not sell in the Chinese market.

Besides, it would not do well in all other countries that have strong economic ties with China. In return, it would cost the producers a lot of money, and thus to avoid this scenario, the producers had to ensure that the villains come from a country that has limited global economic influence.

Globalization has allowed China and the US to develop strong economic ties. Hence, it would appear ironical to claim that China and the United States are at war with each other. If the events in the movie were released as planned initially, it would have been hard for the public to see the sense in the movie. Hence, the film producers had to make alterations to ensure that they capture the attention of the global market.

Globalization has a significant influence on the decision to use North Korean forces as the villain in the Red Dawn. North Korea does not have strong economic significance globally. Hence, making them appear to be at war with the Americans would not discourage the global market from viewing the movie.

Besides, the North Koreans would freely buy the movie since it portrays their advancement in technology and military powers. The Americans have the best forces in the world; hence, a successful incursion by the Korean forces would portray the Koreans as advancing in terms of military power.

Besides the inclusion of villains from a nation with less global economic influence, globalization stands out in the manner in which the Americans approach the battle. In an attempt to subvert their enemies, the Wolverines opt to import their fighting techniques from the Taliban. Jed, having fought in Iraq for a long time, uses his experience to train his team on the Mujahedeen techniques used by the Taliban.

The Korean forces appear more advanced when compared to the American forces. Consequently, it is hard for the Americans to surmount their enemy without coming up with new fighting techniques.

At this point, effects of globalization manifest themselves where the Americans, despite being popular for military experience end up importing fighting techniques from other unpopular states like Iraq. The film shows how globalization is causing countries to not only relate with each other at the economic level, but also in military expertise.

Red Dawn represents a country that is fighting against an enemy that poses a major threat to its superiority. The United States is at war with North Korea, which is a country that has suffered from economic recession for a long time.

While globalization pushes countries like the United States and China into doing all it takes to safeguard their economic ties, it is also forcing other nations like North Korea to use all they have to overcome recession.

Globalization has led to an increase in political and economic competition amongst different countries. In return, it has led to conflicts among different countries as witnessed between the United States and North Korea.

Social disorganization

The theme of social organization refers to the order in which a country or a community organizes itself in order to ensure it enhances its security, political, and economic wellbeing. A country that is socially organized is in a position of overcoming any external incursion with limited challenges. In a socially organized city or state, all security agencies work in liaison with the community to identify and curb any form of security threat.

The community freely shares information regarding security with the security agencies. On the other hand, the security agencies are ever conscious of the state’s security and prepared to face any contingency. Red Dawn brings out the theme of social disorganization among the Americans. The Korean forces manage to attack the Americans and take control of the country without major difficulties.

This element signifies the level of disorganization among the Americans. Social disorganization within the country makes it hard for the Americans to mobilize their soldiers to defend the country against the incursion. The movie shows that there is no proper communication between the security agencies in the country, thus making it hard for the country to detect and manage any form of external incursion.

Even after the attack, the Americans are incapable of responding. Many of the Americans end up losing their lives in the hands of the Korean forces while scores are maimed or kidnapped. Matt and Jed have to flee to the mountains to have a chance to reorganize themselves before retaliating. This move shows the magnitude of social disorganization among the Americans.

The use of former prisoners who form the Wolverines team that eventually rescues the Americans signifies that at the time of the attack, the Americans are in total social disarray making it hard for the solders to respond.

The Marines later join the Wolverines when they are almost surmounting the Korean forces. It could be hard for the Koreans to subjugate a nation known for strong and experienced military forces if the Americans were not in social disarray.

The Red Tail documentary

Plot summary

The Red Tail is a documentary directed by Melissa Koch and Dawn Mikkelson. The documentary addresses a contentious issue: the effects of a global economy and the struggle by workers to improve their working conditions. In August 2005, over 4,400 mechanics from Northwest Airline went on strike protesting against wage cut as well as elimination of numerous jobs in the airline.

Eventually, the 444 days strike leads to over 4000 workers losing their jobs. One of the daughters of the striking mechanics manages to film the ongoing strike. In Minneapolis, she meets Dawn Mikkelson, whom they collaborate in the production of the documentary.

The documentary begins by capturing the strike in Northwest Airline and then trails Melissa’s father who moves to Hong Kong and China in pursuit of his outsourced job. The film captures the struggle of an American worker who, with the help of his family, reaches out to Asian workers thus subjecting himself to the severe veracity of universal capitalism.

The globalization Trend

The Red Tail effectively brings out the contemporary trend in globalization. As Roy Koch moves from one country to another in pursuit of his outsourced job, he realizes how employers are working hard to enrich themselves at the expense of employees.

Globalization is making it possible for employers to outsource most of their jobs to countries or other companies that charge them cheaply relative to employing staffs to attend to those jobs. This aspect is evident given the fact that Koch realizes that after his firing, the job is outsourced to another person in Hong Kong and later in China.

As Roy Koch embarks on a journey to track his outsourced job, he learns how employers are increasingly outsourcing various tasks to countries that offer cheap labor. The Red Tail helps the viewers to have clear understanding of what globalization have in store for their future. This shows how the trend in globalization allows employers to enhance their profitability at the expense of the workers.

Whenever employers hear of a labor market offering services or goods at lower cost, they opt to tap the market at the expense of their existing employees. It shows that in future, employers will increasingly outsource most of their tasks in an effort to enhance their profit and the stakeholders’ dividends.

Additionally, the documentary shows the capability of globalization to bring unity among employees. From the documentary, it is clear that a force drives all workers to reach past the state framework, which is governed by political influence and the union machinery.

This force offers a room for a possible union among all the workers across the globe. Globalization is gradually transforming the world into a small village where people easily communicate and unite to fight for a common cause. Besides, globalization is leading to the convergence of labor laws as well as the workers’ interests.

Currently, all workers fight for better wages and working conditions, which pushes them to foster similar interests across the globe.

The Red Tail helps to unravel the mystery behind the inability by workers across the globe to come up with a global working population that would be in a position to air and fight for workers’ interests.

The documentary shows that as employees continue to fight for their interests, there is an emerging global trend where organizations are working around the clock to thwart efforts by workers to come up with an international union.

The Red Tail shows the negative effects of globalization on employees working with institutions that do not have labor unions. It shows how organizations are discriminately firing their employees as they seek to outsource their jobs to nations with cheap labor. For states with labor unions, the unions are incapacitated in a way that they cannot fight for employees’ rights.

For decades, trade unions were known for fighting for the rights of workers. Nevertheless, this trend is changing across the globe. Employers and governments are using their influence to manipulate union leaders thus ensuring that they do not advocate for employee rights.

This trend is being passed from one country to another. From the documentary, it is evident that countries like China and Hong Kong are importing this habit from the Americans. The Red Tail shows how globalization has enabled people to monitor and track activities across the globe. Globalization allows people to know what is happening in different countries without having to travel to these places.

Melissa and her father know whenever her father’s job is outsourced to a different country with limited challenges. Moreover, globalization makes it possible for the two to move from one country to another without challenges as they trail the job. It shows how globalization has led to national borders being porous, thus allowing easy passage of people and probably good from other countries.

Social disorganization

Social organization is one of the factors that facilitate in enhancing employee welfare. In workplaces where employees speak in one voice, they are able to push forward their complaints. Besides, their unity makes it hard for employers to resist their demands because doing that may force workers to stage industrial strikes thus affecting organizational profit. Social disorganization in any company gives employers an upper hand.

It becomes hard for employees to speak in one voice thus giving employers a chance to victimize those found to push for their interests. The Red Tail brings out the theme of social disorganization, which is prevalent in most organizations worldwide. Trade unions are formed to help in ensuring that employers offer quality working conditions to their employees.

They work as vehicles for presenting employee complaints as well as negotiating for better employment terms for their members.

Nevertheless, today, the government and other employers have ensured that they disrupt social organization among the workers by ensuring that they lure the trade union representatives into abiding by their terms. Rather than advocating for employee interests, most of the trade unions have succumbed to government and employers’ manipulations.

Moreover, social media, which is expected to fight for the rights of the less fortunate such as workers, has also fallen victim of government and organizational manipulation thus calling against employee strikes. In most countries, trade unions no longer fight for the rights of their members. Rather, they are mere bureaucratic shells that inhibit the employees’ capacity to push for their demands.

The Red Tail proves that for social organization to exist among workers there should be the establishment of a common global trade union. The documentary proves that it is hard for an independent trade union to fight for the employees’ demand. A global trade union would overcome the bureaucracy encountered by the independent trade unions.


Movies and documentaries are good avenues of expressing the prevailing global trends as well as social challenges. The Red Dawn and The Red Tail are examples of movies and documentaries that bring out the trend of globalization and the theme of social disorganization. The Red Dawn shows how globalization is influencing the development and production of movies.

Besides, it shows how globalization has enabled countries to exchange varied expertise. On the other hand, The Red Tail shows how globalization is gradually transforming the world into a small village making it possible for workers to unite in fighting for their rights.

The Red Dawn brings out the theme of social disorganization in the United States by showing how the Americans are incapable of addressing external incursion. On the other hand, The Red Tail brings out the theme of social disorganization by showing how trade unions no longer play their roles.

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