1. Titanic caused North Koreans to flee their country
When she was only 7 years old, Yeonmi Park was “lucky” to be able to clandestinely watch the movie Titanic, which was banned in North Korea and whose possession was punishable by death. In an interview with Guardian, the North Korean defector says that it was watching the film that gave her a taste of disaffection by showing her that life outside did not revolve around the dictatorial regime. Jeong Kwang-il, also North Korean, was also helped in his escape by what he had seen of Titanic. Thank you Rose, Jack but especially Céline.
2. The movie The Adams File freed a wrongfully convicted man
In 1976, the American Randall Dale Adams was sentenced to death for the murder of a policeman, an act he never committed. Finally sentenced to life imprisonment three days before his execution, Randall Dale Adams spent 12 years in prison before being cleared and released, thanks in particular to the documentary film The Adams File by Errol Morris, telling his story. In this film, new elements of the investigation are revealed as videographic evidence of false testimony. Thanks to this new information and the popularity of the film, Randall Dale Adams was finally able to be released after his whistleblower confessed to the crime himself. Nice guy.
3. The kids in California’s “house of horror” were able to escape thanks to High School Musical
In 2018, Jordan Turpin fled her family home in California where she had been abused and restrained for years along with her 12 siblings by her abusive parents. It was while watching clips of Justin Biber, but also Hannah Montana and High School Musical that the young girl realized the life that existed outside her home where she was beaten, chained, undernourished and washed. once a year. Thanks to Troy and Gabriella, Jordan Turpin therefore decided to escape and that’s how she was able to warn the police and save her brothers and sisters from this house of hell. Well, all that for half of them to end up in an equally abusive foster family, but that’s another story.
4. The Snake Pit Has Improved Mental Health Treatment in the United States
This 1948 film, which recounts the internment of a young novelist in a psychiatric hospital for schizophrenia, greatly upset Charles Schlaifer, the owner of an advertising agency who promoted this work. Following this, Charles Schlaifer visited many American psychiatric hospitals and became involved in a mental health advocacy group, having testified before the US Congress. He also allowed the drafting of a law in 1963 on the subject by writing a report on the reform of institutions. He eventually ended up chairing, among other things, the Health and Mental Hygiene Facilities Improvement Corporation, responsible for building care centers.
5. The film Birth of a Nation enabled the reformation of the Ku Klux Klan
This film, adapted from the novel The Man of Clan: A Historical Love Story of the Ku Klux Klan by Thomas F. Dixon Jr, tells an imaginary (and very racist) version of the Civil War where full powers would be given to African-Americans who would use them to oppress whites. Birth of a Nation divides the country, especially in the south, and William Joseph Simmons, prominent member of the 1st KKK (1865 to 1871), decides after watching it to refound the Klan with 34 men based on the popularity of the film . He is also inspired by it to establish and ritualize the burnt Christian cross and the pointed headdresses. Yes, we would have preferred that this film never saw the light of day.
6. The Blackfish documentary helped enact laws against the captivity of killer whales in water parks
Blackfish notably tells the story of the orca Tilikum, a mammal held captive at the SeaWorld water park in Orlando and which caused the death of three people. Thanks to this film denouncing the consequences of the captivity of cetaceans in this type of park, laws have been put in place, especially thanks to the support of Adam Schiff, co-sponsor of an amendment on the subject, which cited Blackfish as a “source of public debate”. Water parks have also felt the repercussions of this film as their attendance has fallen sharply, as have investor stocks.
7. Taxi Driver nearly cost Ronald Reagan his life
Taxi Driver may be a great movie, but the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, would surely have preferred it never to be released. Because this work indeed almost killed him because of John Hinckley Jr, an American obsessed with the character of Travis Bickle. After watching the film 18 times, John Hinckley Jr started dressing and acting like the main character, wanting to impress actress Jodie Foster, having starred in Travis Bickle’s crush for Taxi Driver. So he tried to kill Ronald Reagan by shooting him in the armpit. If Ronald Reagan is not dead, James Brady, the president’s press secretary also affected, died of his injury 33 years later. Another really good reason to stop imitating series and movies.
8. The JFK movie brought a lot of criminal files to the public.
The movie JFK, which exposes different conspiracy theories around the assassination of the 35th president of the United States, caused a lot of noise when it was released. Many people blamed director Oliver Stone for casting doubt on the official conclusions about Kennedy’s assassination, “blaming” the FBI and CIA of being behind it. To remove suspicions as to the veracity of these conclusions, Congress passed the JFK Act allowing the public release of files from past investigations that had remained secret until then. Nearly 250,000 files have been made available since the introduction of this law. That’s a lot of paperwork, indeed.