MOVIE TIP: Vantage Point

Saw an interesting movie last week, Vantage Point. Now whilst the movie is a Hollywood action thriller with all the usual bells and whistles, the plot adresses a number of quite interesting and (for a mainstream movie) unusual issues.
Here’s the first paragraph of the production synopsis:
“In Columbia Pictures’ action-packed thriller Vantage Point, eight strangers with eight different points of view try to unlock the one truth behind an assassination attempt on the president of the United States. Thomas Barnes (Dennis Quaid) and Kent Taylor (Matthew Fox) are two Secret Service agents assigned to protect President Ashton (William Hurt) at a landmark summit on the global war on terror. When President Ashton is shot moments after his arrival in Spain, chaos ensues and disparate lives collide in the hunt for the assassin. In the crowd is Howard Lewis (Forest Whitaker), an American tourist who thinks he’s captured the shooter on his camcorder while videotaping the event for his kids back home. Also there, relaying the historic event to millions of TV viewers across the globe, is American TV news producer Rex Brooks (Sigourney Weaver). As they and others reveal their stories, the pieces of the puzzle will fall into
place – and it will become apparent that shocking motivations lurk just beneath the surface.”

Some interesting issues:

1 - “the truth”: what is the truth? how do you tell it? Is the truth just the sum of a number of points of view? How is truth portrayed in movies and mainstream media? the more information – the closer you you are to it… portrayal of truth in the media…

2 – the media: how the media makes decisions regarding coverage and how this coverage shapes the way the public perceives events and situations.

3 – one person making a difference: the idea of a ordinary person, in this case Forest Whitaker playing a tourist abroad on holiday. He happens to capture a very important turn of events on his camcorder, and then goes on to play a key part in the unfolding events. The idea that by being somewhere important we in turn make ourselves important too.

4 – Citizen journalism and citizen photojournalism – a product of the digital age.

5 – actions, good or bad: what motivates people to act in a particular way? Are their action necessarily good or bad? Are these action to be interpreted differently depending on what we know? we look to simplify but in reality things are often more complex

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