Cinema is also a tool for personal growth, no doubt about it. Watching a movie is always a good way to relax and feel good about yourself. And if the chosen film manages to create a connection with our inner life, we have the opportunity to find the balance within us. Alone or together with others, in a dark room, whether it is a large movie theater or the living room of our home, the moment we relax to watch a film is an occasion in which we can finally make sense of the reality that we live every day.
With the Cine Growth column we want to take film viewing to another level, as a great tool for personal growth. We are dedicated in this section to the expansion of awareness. Through greater awareness it is possible to live and reflect on life by watching movies in a completely different way. Films are nothing more than the mirror of life, reality, our dreams, society and its conflicts. And above all, films, more than any other art, have the possibility of “showing” the invisible. Great directors do just that.
While commercial films, made with coarse intentions, limit themselves to staging physical life, great auteur cinema leads us to intuit the existence of other dimensions. Cinema is something immaterial, it is a vision made up of bodies, light and geometric shapes. The shot is the vision of the director who chooses what to understand and what to leave out. Each film is a complex vision of the world because it uses many tools, an extraordinary mix of different arts. Figurative art, the magic of light, the temporal and musical art of rhythm and assembly, the art of acting, physiognomy, human faces to contemplate, verbal and non-verbal language, intonations that contradict appearance.
There is no doubt: cinema and the art of the invisible, the art that more than any other can allow its user to go beyond the appearances of the physical world. Cinema lives completely in a world that does not exist. The actors, places and sets that have lent themselves to the eye of the camera no longer exist. They have been taken to another dimension. The film set through a great work of reorganization of matter produces something completely immaterial, spiritual, which comes out of space-time forever. Have you ever thought about it? This is why cinema in just over 100 years of life has fascinated people from all over the world: it represents the possibility of belonging to a mythical dimension outside of space-time. which is one of the greatest desires of the human being.
Is cinema entertainment or a mirror of our lives?
In fact, the cinema, contrary to what they have wanted us to believe for more than a century, is the most faithful mirror of reality. It can be the concrete reality of society, the world of our dreams, or the deepest unconscious. It matters little. Films, like other arts, reflect the existential experience of their creators and the collectivity in which they lived.
Cinema creates awareness why is the most powerful because it uses the same material that the deepest part of being human is made of: moving images. And sometimes, if it is good cinema, it uses it in a non-trivial way, as opposed to the flatness of television images or social networks. They are images that acquire infinite meanings of great symbolic and metaphorical value. Images that, in the best cases, can resonate deeply in our psyche.
Films and awareness
Certain movies can reveal profound meanings differently for each of us. The result can be surprising. For this reason, personal growth through films can represent a good opportunity to undertake a path of self-knowledge and awareness of one’s daily experience.
Cinema isn’t just a time for entertainment and escapism. That is the most superficial way to use it. Films are above all a very powerful way to understand our life experience. The stories created by writers and directors are confronted without filters with our experience.
It’s possible because there are no filters: the film, even if seen in company, is a totally individual experience, like meditation. Films literally change our lives because in them we find stories that reflect the potential of our life. In each film the filmmaker gives us a piece of us and of what we could have been. But you have to be good at receiving these inspirations.
The film as an experience of personal growth
Choosing and watching the right movie at a certain point in life can be of great help for our personal growth path. But how to extricate oneself in this tide of moving images, in this ocean of often superficial proposals determined only by the fashions of the moment and by algorithms that predict the tastes of the public for commercial purposes? Can cinema really be used to grow internally, to understand our mistakes, to remedy our pains? Certainly yes.
Cinema isn’t one of many entertainment for its own sake. It is the most powerful art form that humanity has been able to invent. It is the mirror of the reality of our dreams, of our fears and of our deepest joys. Our unconscious mind does not think in words but in images. The visualization of images is the most powerful tool ever to change not only our conscious perception but the one that absolutely conditions our lives: the unconscious mind.
Images and personal growth
The unconscious mind is the force that directs our lives for better or for worse, and it thinks essentially in images. It is not by chance that cinema has always been an instrument for influencing the consciences of peoples. But if used with awareness it can be a means to improve our life, through the reprogramming of the unconscious. Often we see violent diatribes about certain films, on social networks, between friends. Why do people get so excited when it comes to cinema and make it a personal matter? Are they paid by the production to advertise that film?
People love and hate movies so overwhelmingly for a reason: movies represent our personal and collective unconscious that we are connected to. Speaking badly of a film to someone who loved it, therefore, in a certain sense means talking badly about certain deep emotions. A world of images of which we are not aware but to which we feel connected more than anything we can think of with our conscious mind. The language of cinema is the language of the unconscious, often even when we watch a documentary.
Relaxation, visions and personal growth
Thanks to the media, the big commercial production houses, the big streaming platforms we now have the worst possible idea of cinema. A moment of entertainment in which to sink into the sofa and forget everyday problems. But few tell us that it is precisely in moments of total relaxation that our unconscious becomes receptive.
Choosing a film for relaxation only means not understanding that in those two hours of viewing there is the possibility of a change. It is not a question of giving up relaxation and the sofa. But only to change the point of view. Understand that those moments of inaction and rest are actually the moments that can bring us new changes and new insights.
If you think about it, it’s possible that that movie you loved so much as a boy affected your choices, maybe your relationships and your future life, maybe without you realizing it. But those images that you somehow later looked for in reality may have become part of your reality. Our life materializes in a process that is similar to that of making a film. There is an idea, then there is a project, and if the conditions are met, things will be realized.
Cine – personal growth, or sip watching
In short, if used correctly, films are the greatest personal growth tool. No course, no manual, no therapist can possibly compete with the wealth of hundreds and hundreds of extraordinary films. Cine – personal growth, or if we want to call it cinema therapy, means watching films in a conscious way. Choose them based on the existential issues that interest us. Use the great minds of the directors who have marked the history of cinema to solve their problems and start the path of personal evolution.
Giving the right value to the films, emotions, feelings and visions they convey to us without hastily dismissing them as entertainment. The exact opposite of binge watching, which is the most superficial way of consuming moving images: the cinematic equivalent of the big binge of the consumer world in which we live. Bingeing on movies or TV series simply to fill your existential void is the worst way to watch and use the cinema. The practice that we propose instead is that of sip watching, consuming films sparingly, like a rigorous and thoughtful diet. We have so little time and it’s not worth wasting it on things that don’t help our inner growth at all.
To understand the treasures and revelations that certain films can give us, they must be taken in small doses. Thrifty visions are needed, followed by reflection and meditation, to truly understand them. They need to be looked at several times, with new points of view. But can all films be a vehicle for personal growth? If we are able to recognize even the strongly negative messages, yes. But it is not a simple thing and it is not always possible.
We are inundated with movies that have no spiritual, therapeutic, or consciousness-raising value. Those who created them are not in the least interested in these goals. Indeed, very often the goal is exactly the opposite: to stimulate the lowest instincts, to experience violent emotion as an end in itself. We could call it the cinema of regression and sensory bombardment.
The blockbuster stun and regression
The cinema was immediately placed inside a fence since its inception. It is still a fragile and very young creature. He still does not have the armor of the arts that have spanned the millennia that have faced the worst enemies. It has been relegated to a fair phenomenon, circus sideshow of amusement and sensory bombardment. Hollywood movies full of special effects do nothing but bombard audiences with a visual and sound stun. You leave the hall stunned, with a few more hallucinations, convinced that you have seen who knows what, like when you get off the roller coaster at the carnival.
But after 10 minutes the inner emptiness returns. The film did not convey anything to us, on the contrary it emptied us completely, it contributed with its din of lights and sounds to make us forget the problems. The result is that afterwards we get even more confused, just like with a hangover. Most films are tools for speculation: short entertainments and drunks. But their potential for personal growth is zero. They can work at best as regression tools.
Choose movies for personal growth
So you have to choose the right films carefully. From this point of view, independent cinema can be one of the best options because it is often made by filmmakers without pursuing profit at all costs. Independent directors often follow their inner and artistic motivations more, without profit. But the reverse may also be true: there are popular films that have better therapeutic potential than certain indie films that attempt to mimic popular models to achieve notoriety and success.
But isn’t discussing a movie with others after watching it essential to using cinema as personal growth? No. It can be enjoyable and can give you extra motivation, stimulate new ideas. But the real difference is in the individual and solitary work that can be done after watching a movie. Each of us interprets the same film in a totally different way and everyone can find completely different ideas within themselves. Films are completely personal journeys.
The power of moving images for personal growth
A movie that marked my adolescence can be completely meaningless and mundane to someone else. The inner meditation that film suggested to me was essentially a private and solitary experience, like all inner experiences. That comedy that a friend of mine may find extremely interesting and constructive may be of no use in my case. Everything is extremely subjective and personal.
Cinema and the evocative power of images have the ability to get in touch directly with our subconscious, and the subconscious is the autopilot of our lives that can guide us towards the goals and objectives we desire. We simply need to change the way we use this powerful and underrated tool.
Being able to grasp the stimuli that films can give us and apply them in our daily life. Use them to transform the vision we have of ourselves into what we want to become. Do not allow ourselves to be confused even in the film show by the consumerist “hangover” we are surrounded by. Do not be overwhelmed by the commercial tsunami that is proposed to us every day. Selecting films carefully to find our balance and constantly improve ourselves is possible. Good sip watching.