Author: Tara Moylan, Pima Community College
Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times creates a celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. The United Nations is a very credible universal global organization that promotes peace and equality for all. It depicts how the world is now and what the world could look like in the future. This is a unique program because the United Nations created global goals that promote prosperity for all people while protecting the planet. These are all addressed in the film as ways we can change the world for the better. This short film by the United Nations takes on some of the world’s most prominent issues like climate change, poverty, inequality, and human rights. It is a call for action that we need to do better. Was the United Nations successful at creating this narrative? This documentary is thought- provoking to me. I wanted to spread awareness of its message to others, and I wanted to find out what my friends thought about it as well. I invited some of my friends over and told them a little about this film. I did not want to influence their opinion, so I just gave a general synopsis of the film. Then, we watched the movie together, and I gave them some questions for the discussion post and had them write down their opinions of the film. I asked them how they felt and what feelings were provoked by the sound, visuals, and how the film is paced and edited. I asked them what information stood out to them. What emotional appeals does the video use? Are there any biases you can identify?
The audience mostly felt that the elements like sound, visuals, and editing were used effectively throughout the documentary to draw an emotional response. Most of my friends felt a sense of compassion and empowerment when watching the film. My friend Abby felt that ” the visuals, graphics, and sound were critical and serious. The music built up during important parts. The graphics captured my attention.” Most of my friends enjoyed the music except for one; my friend Josh thought the music was melodramatic and ” I’m reminded of those Sarah McLaughlin commercials for poor dying puppies back in the nineties.” I enjoyed the music, and to me, music has always evoked strong feelings, and it is essential to have dramatic music when the topics are serious. The imagery and music helped to create a film that was interesting, inspiring, and moving.
My friends gave some interesting insights into the film and gave me a different perspective. Several of my friends were curious about the cost of production and celebrities. My friend Kate exclaims, ” It makes me wonder how much money they put into making propaganda like this.” My other friend, Josh, wondered, “How many starving kids could be fed on the cost of Beyonce’s dress alone?” It does make you think about how the money used to put forth such an elaborate production could have been better spent on using it towards one of these sustainable goals they talked about throughout the movie. I realized that there are many celebrity endorsements throughout the documentary. I wish we did not need promotions like this to stand on something that we think is moral and right. The film should be able to stand on its own.
We all agreed that there were biases in the film, but we all have those same opinions and are like- minded, and agree with everything in the documentary. My friend James said that ” I can imagine how traditionally conservative people might have issues with the facts as they were presented.” He goes further by saying that, ” I don’t think they can argue with many of the points being made but would definitely have contention with the methodology of solving those points.” James’ statements made me think about how America is so divided, and it reminded me of the proverb the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We all believe that we are on the right side for justice. Our opinions are justified, and we have all the facts, but I would like to think that human rights, equality, and climate change are on the right side of justice. It is simply not enough to say we are going to do something, but one must take action to do good. This film gave my friends, and I hope for a better tomorrow, for a world less divided. In the movie, it even takes about that we as a nation need to set aside differences to make change happen. That there is hope for economic recovery and rebuilding after the pandemic.