The commercial film industry creates cultural products that often reflect societal norms. The popularity of these images is based on the fact that they reflect the "anxieties and longings” of their audience: as contemporary cultural "texts,” they are capable of expressing "the pressing concerns” of a moment in history. Film is often informed by the news, and reinforces the images portrayed through these media outlets: they are capable of conveying religious ideology and values in contemporary culture. Popular media such as cinema performs religious functions as public sites for the vocalization and discussion of meaning. Therefore films, as a social form of religion, are considered powerful conveyors of ideology and ethics. Although fantasy, these media representations are usually taken for granted to be rooted in reality, while they reinforce stereotypes and manufacture consensus. As viewers, we tend to accept many of the images on screen as somehow truly reflective of the "universal truths” of the world in which we live. This also means that cultural expressions, exhibited through media and film, are shaped by politics.
"From Navy Seals to The Siege: Getting to Know the Muslim Terrorist, Hollywood Style,"
Journal of Religion & Film: Vol. 9
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol9/iss2/6