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Political Sensibilities in “My Own Private Idaho” Film Essay (Critical Writing)

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An integral part of the present-day life, political sensibilities play a significant role and pertain to various spheres. Culture is not an exception. It is possible to identify some peculiarities in terms of movies, and My Own Private Idaho created by Gus Van Sant illustrates the way it is probable to combine both documentary and feature-length movie texts. While the former group reflects the events and tendencies that touch upon the reality directly and become the part of the history, the latter one is characterized by the personal interpretation. In this paper, the possibility to transfer one’s political sensibilities, the correlation between movie texts and feature-length non-documentary texts, and the way My Own Private Idaho has influenced my personal political sensibilities are examined.

First and foremost, it is necessary to point out that political sensibilities are changeable. However, I suppose that a piece of art alone cannot reshape them because the initial implications and inclinations should be present. In this particular case, power becomes an essential concept, and the choice is the central issue since the characters, Mike and Scott, have to face the world based on the necessity to find one’s place and interact with the authorities whether they like it or not. I believe Scott had already known what he would do, and it is similar to the real-life persons: in terms of politics and decision-making, one’s political sensibilities are more or less steady until an individual feels the urge for changes, and the external events are not enough. They may trigger some actions, but the roots are, again, in the inner world.

As for the balance between two types of texts found in the movie, it is possible to state that the director did not intend to make this contrast the focus of the viewers’ attention. Nevertheless, the intertwined political and social statements may be traced. From the feature-length non-documentary perspective, the main idea refers to the personal relationship and the tragedy of people: politics should not interfere with love, friendship, and so on. The documentary text component is also remarkable: street kids and their environment are not only pictured authentically – they are documentary. Thus, both types of movie texts are closely connected.

In my opinion, this movie has not reshaped my political sensibilities to a large extent. On the contrary, I suppose that My Own Private Idaho supported the ideas that I have already had. Understanding that art, even its best patterns, fails to provide the overall picture of life, I can argue that this movie mirrors the perpetual problems that will always be relevant to all people. For a long time, I regarded the contradiction between political power and relationships as one of the most significant challenges, and the movie only confirms my ideas. In other words, my opinion and political sensibilities have not been reshaped.

To sum up, My Own Private Idaho makes viewers ponder and sometimes reconsider their opinions. It can reshape political sensibilities in case a person feels the necessity of changes.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 6). Political Sensibilities in "My Own Private Idaho" Film. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-sensibilities-in-my-own-private-idaho-film/

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"Political Sensibilities in "My Own Private Idaho" Film." IvyPanda, 6 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/political-sensibilities-in-my-own-private-idaho-film/.

1. IvyPanda. "Political Sensibilities in "My Own Private Idaho" Film." April 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-sensibilities-in-my-own-private-idaho-film/.


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IvyPanda. "Political Sensibilities in "My Own Private Idaho" Film." April 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-sensibilities-in-my-own-private-idaho-film/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Political Sensibilities in "My Own Private Idaho" Film." April 6, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/political-sensibilities-in-my-own-private-idaho-film/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Political Sensibilities in "My Own Private Idaho" Film'. 6 April.

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