( December 8, 2019 )
Good cinema has the power to stimulate, to challenge and also to transform people – and to help them walk a journey in someone else's shoes.
With easy access to the internet, children see anything and everything online. Feeble or rather lax laws for censoring content are completely failing to keep up with the pace of new social media channels, leading to easy accessibility of violent or sexually explicit content to children. No amount of intent or effort is able to restrict children from viewing whatever they want. The bitter-sweet reality is that ongoing battle of online censorship can never be won. And we cannot always prevent children from engaging with technology, as it is the new normal.
Even the most well-meaning parents cannot keep a hawk’s eye on all the content that the child is viewing. Today’s children are going digital. And we know, online videos are increasingly the most consumed medium by kids these days. It is time to stop fighting this trend and embracing it.
Unfortunately for us, current day, Indian cinema is also not geared towards children. It is essentially missing vital lessons that nurture social and cultural values. With focus majorly on day-to-day reality, politics, body-show and objectification of women and men, and graphic violence, it becomes all the more important to keep children away from the mundane. While we need to start making cinema for children, but until we do not, we need to offer them good content, which is both palatable and tasty.
It’s essential for children to engage with cinema that is more substantial, compelling and engaging. Good cinema is the only way for these young children to train their attention span and importantly, to raise their empathy levels by engaging with relevant, imposing and emotional stories. The good cinema will help them imbibe the best of stories and images of people, characters, from all walks of life.
Children have an extraordinary understanding of cinema, as they absorb and remember what they see, but also use them in the course of life as they grow, sometimes knowingly, sometimes, just like that. Watching good content is always useful, as positive real-life heroes’ have a lasting effect on the psychology of the child. Good films more than often leave a benevolent effect on the child’s character development and growth story.
Once these children are exposed to good cinema, they will at least be able to distinguish between good and bad content. It has been scientifically stated that children inculcate the behaviour and values that they are exposed to from an early age—and what better way than right cinema.
Good cinema has the power to stimulate, to challenge and also to transform people – and to help them walk a journey in someone else's shoes. Cinema plays a pivotal role in evolving these innocent and curious minds into sensitive, caring and responsible adults.