How Should Politics Go to the Movies?

News & Politics
Editor's note: this is one of a series of posts about the Tribeca Film Festival that originally appeared on the Huffington Post.

The Tribeca film festival will feature some fascinating documentaries. But as I read about the range of interesting subject matter covered by these docs, it got me thinking more about what the place is for exploring social issues and political ideas in films.

Documentaries are designed to make you think, to raise your awareness about a particular topic. But what about narrative films?

There are a few different templates out there for including politics and social issues in your movies: there's the John Sayles Method. Sayles has a great ability to interweave truly human characters while exploring complicated social issues (Lone Star, Sunshine State, Matewan, etc.) Though there aren't a lot of people doing what he does in movies these days, I think his approach has influenced some of the high-quality television shows that have started recently, like The Wire or The Shield.

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