While watching movies, I oftentimes wonder if viewers give thought on how, or why, a film is made. What was the premise of it--or the goal--and oftentimes, we only hope to know the what the film was actually about by the credits. Thereafter, we can easily analyze if the movie we watched as good or bad. Whatever the director's intent for the movie, we still will watch. Why? Well, because some films are purposely made to take us to a very real place, where we have never been, with its intent at making the viewer feel invincible, superhuman, or inspired. Or more simply, we watch movies to be entertained, and as an escape from our own realities, especially if it's a great film. A great film creates a certain level of believability that we have the potential to change the world we live in, for the better.
Movies that enlighten and inspire--create a social awareness to their viewers--are my favorite types of films to watch. Those aspects are important responsibilities of filmmakers. This especially true in independent, or indie, films. An indie movie is a film project that is "independent" of mainstream studios from the ground up, writers and directors financially invest in their own creative works--or find support from financial backers that will invest in an indie film project. Most importantly, the indie film directors exercise complete creative control over their film project.
This is why I feel that one of the most important aspects about independent filmmaking, is the willingness of the director or writer to truthfully depict societal realism's on camera. Many indie filmmakers who choose to take on controversial subject matters, are willing to experiment, and are okay with their films relating to transgressions in society. Examples of these types of films; the indie film about drug addiction, in the film Trainspotting (1996), or domestic abuse in the film Once Were Warriors (1994)--both of these films depict the painful and harsh realities of social isolation, rejection, and the real consequences that is a result of drug abuse, alcoholism, and domestic spousal abuse. Indie filmmakers and the films they produce create a certain permanence in film--the gritty and bitter realities has a way of staying with you, long after watching these types of films.
What about those films that depict the harsh and often silent realities of sexual abuse? It is certainly almost unheard of for mainstream studios to take on the challenge of presenting to the public, non-typical aspects that sensitively concerns society, let alone, see it accurately portrayed on film. The film Bastard Out of Carolina (1996), was a powerful film that recounts the story of a young mother and her child as they endure issues in acceptance, poverty, and sexual abuse. All three films brought about a conscious of awareness of the underlying, abnormal complexities about society.