Stories characterize, expound and explore our dual nature. They unite minds, and enlighten individuals. Stories help humanity thrive by emphasizing the value of cooperation and the necessity of independence. They recount the dangers of over-indulgence and forecast the promise of positive potential in the human race.
Western civilization was brought into the modern era with statements like, “In the beginning was the Word.” With all due respects to the scriptural masterworks of the great religions, our relationship with the divine reaches back to our dancing, predatory ancestors. This was many thousands of years before any widespread language systems had emerged. However, in deference to the passage quoted above, the stories of all the world’s cultures had their beginning as one story, an attempt to impose order on the chaos that we wrestle with everyday.
A movie is literally a light shining in the darkness. Movies mend chaos with order, fashioning realities with ideas and imagination to help distinguish what is good from what is evil. But order quickly disintegrates and chaos never sleeps, so storytelling is alive and thriving in the 21st century.
We continue to invent new ways to tell them, but the old stories influence all of the new ones. Movies that become an enduring part of our culture do so because they contain practical examples of common sense drawing from and contributing to the record of all that humankind has learned since our primitive beginnings.
Over eons the first stories morphed and multiplied into a myriad of stories. Now, through motion pictures and the Internet, the myths, legends, and histories of all traditions will merge back together again. Through the universal language of image and song, motion pictures are presenting the world with its unified story.