Film is a powerful medium for exploring social and political issues, both reflecting and exploring our world, whether through feature films or the documentary form. While American feature films remain the most popular form of entertainment, documentaries exploring important political, social and environmental issues are increasingly popular and attract large audiences. Davis Guggenheim's 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth
, narrated by Al Gore, about the consequences of global warming alerted millions of people to the consequences of man-made global warming in ways that no amount of print could hope to do. Samson and Delilah
, Warwick Thornton's 2009 highly successful Australian film, while not a documentary, certainly presents its story in the style of social realism. Even Avatar
, about to become the highest-grossing film of all time, has within its story messages about the need for us to live peacefully in environmental harmony and respect with other creatures and races. It has within its dazzling technical effects a strong call to peace.
The history of committed filmmaking in Australia has a long and distinguished history. Its beginnings in the 1940s and 1950s are explored and documented in The Archive Project, a 2006 award-winning documentary made by John Hughes, who is committed to making documentary films that explore important historical and social issues.
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