I believe that the movie My Own Private Idaho has a controversial potential. On the one hand, it could transform the viewer’s political sensibilities if the person is critical and open to the democratic views. On the other hand, it is capable of provoking the negative feelings solely; thus, contributing to social stigma and homophobic perceptions.
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The film raises the acute issue of discrimination. One of the main heroes, Mike, faced oppression for his intention to secure the rights of homosexual people politically. He met a strong prejudice due to his sexuality even though it could not affect the capability of a person to function effectively.
Generation X has a different culture that could not be accepted by a convinced conservative. Consequently, it would be difficult for a person who has an inflexible mind and attitude to accept and understand the implications of this era or culture. However, in order to comprehend the raised ideas better, it is essential to find more background information about it in the Democracy and Difference because it is a complex movie and the director’s techniques were sometimes hard to follow.
It is evident that the film dwells upon the link between person’s sexuality and identity and such associated consequences like common social perceptions. As in the case of Scott, sometimes this paradigm might lead to the creation of a false identity that is, in fact, alien to the person. In addition, the way the movie portrayed the main characters including Bob and the situations it put them through revealed that the subculture could allow them to gain insights into their true nature and identity, which was yet unknown to them; however, each of them lived without being able to find the core.
Nevertheless, the other side of the movie is that it promotes stigmatization of homosexuals and can create wrong perceptions of them. As a documentary, it portrays the characters in such a way that it is hard to like them and, not everyone will be able to tolerate or be empathetic towards such people. If it was a non-documentary, examining the same historical political setting, it might create an atmosphere that would be more empathy situating. Consequently, if the viewer is not sensitive or flexible enough, it would be difficult for him or her to develop critical pathway to the issues raised, and instead, the person can create homophobia, which happened in the case of many people portrayed in the movie.
In conclusion, the viewer might not be able to relate to the characters because of the way the director portrayed them. It should be stated that it is always easier to empathize with a character who is righteous, humble and fights for the good. The men shown in the movie are drug addicts; they are promiscuous and prostitute themselves, which only make the viewer more susceptible to stigmatizing rather than sympathizing. Therefore, the potential of the film to transform one’s political sensibilities is realizable only if the viewer is a critical thinker.