The theatre room becomes dark and the projector behind us makes the movie begin. The pictures start flowing in front of our eyes full of colours, noises and faces. We find ourselves completely captured by the spider web that has been created by the director and his actors in a such clever way, that we have the illusion of being part of the story itself. Laughs sound clearly and strongly in the room, tears quickly stream down the cheeks, chills of fear run down the backbone.

 

Happiness, sadness, fear and also anger; the cinema makes us extremely empathetic by creating in us emotions as strong as the ones that we feel in the everyday life. The cinema, the seventh art, can hit us with messages of all kinds, from the much evident and stunning to the weaker and barely perceptible ones; one of them has always been freedom.

 

The art of cinema is the most powerful tool to make the cry of freedom sounding in everybody’s ears, the same cry that we seem to not recognize most of the times.

 

Especially nowadays it is necessary to emphasise that whoever has a right for freedom and that we should fight at all costs to not loose it.

 

In the movie Mustang, set in Turkey, we find five young sisters in the middle of their teenage years. They live their lives as all the people of their same age, with joy and insouciance, when suddenly they end up being imprisoned in a new reality in which they absolutely do not fit. The movie is cloaked by a mild and light silence, that however hides a strong and deep cry against a male and patriarchal oppressive power.

 

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Poster of the movie “Mustang”

 

This unshaken and persistent type of female rebellion appears also in other movies, like in the Tunisian one As I open my eyes – I sing for freedom. This movie is an hymn to push people to live life in the way they prefer to; its protagonist is the singer of a political rock band that does not fear fighting for freedom using only her fantastic and warm voice, going against the will of all her family.

 

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Poster of the movie “As I open my eyes”

 

Mustang and As I open my eyes are both recent movies, but the fresh and sparkling taste of freedom was present also in the past of the history of cinema. The Shawshank Redemption and Braveheart are two emblematic movies, both shoot at the end of the 90’s.

 

“They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom”; these are the words of the Braveheart’s protagonist, Scottish hero and patriot of the 13thCentury, William Wallace. In the movie is evident the attempt of the protagonist, really lived, to encourage his own compatriots to fight for their national freedom and against the threats of the English usurpers.

 

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Poster of the movie “Braveheart”

 

In Braveheart freedom has a patriotic taste, while in The Shawshank Redemption it appears to be an even more deep and personal concept. In this movie the iron bars of captivity are no more invisible or metaphoric, but real and tangible; the movie is in fact set in an American prison where Andy Dufrense, a man unfairly accused of murder and punished with a life imprisonment, is forced to fight a perpetual and often vain battle in order to find even the littler glimmer of light.

 

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Poster of the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”

 

Lots of different prisons and fights, characters far away from each other, quests for shared and individual freedoms, but all told with the help of the same artistic expression: the cinema.

 

Sources:

– “As I open my eyes”, directed by Leyla Bouzid (2015)

-“Mustang”, directed by Denis Gamze Erguven (2015)

-“Braveheart”, directed by Mel Gibson (1995)

-“The Shawshank Redepmtion”, directed by Frank Darabont (1994)

 

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