One of the non-psychology topics I want to post about more frequently is movies. Of course, I would like to do more straight-up reviews of both good movies (as well as fun, if not-so-good ones, such as my other post on "Good-Bad Movies"), but I also want to make at least some of the movie talk relevant to the topic at hand - psychology. Therefore, I will make the occasional post about movies from a psychology perspective. This can mean different things at different times, depending on the movie. For example, I may post about a movie that portrays a psychological problem or intervention accurately and effectively; or, I may post because a movie may provide an individual who is experiencing a certain difficulty some ideas to consider. I may also post about a movie because it is motivating or illuminating in some way. This in no way is meant to replace an opinion about the movie’s effectiveness as a whole - in fact, if I think a movie stinks, I may not post about it from a psychology perspective, except perhaps to warn you!
So, I believe I will start with the 1994 New Zealand film "Once Were Warriors." This is a truly memorable film, well-acted and extremely effective at demonstrating how substance abuse and domestic violence can negatively impact a family in so many ways. This is a film often assigned to individuals in treatment for domestic violence and anger management classes to watch and discuss, due to its ability to demonstrate the ongoing impact of the violence (which perpetrators are often blind to). Of course, the impact of excessive alcohol use on aggression is also effectively demonstrated, and the movie does not offer any easy answers. At times this can be a difficult movie to sit through, and I also acknowledge that it takes a few minutes to adjust to the New Zealand accents, but I thought I would start with this film because it is relatively unknown, is very well-done, and the relationship of the movie to psychology is obvious. The film provides a number of excellent topics to discuss, whether in some form of a treatment format, or just with the person you watched it with. Do not, however, watch it if you are in the mood for a "feel good" movie - it ain’t that. Watch it when you are in a good position to be able to watch a movie that can be hard to watch, especially if you have a history of experiencing violence in your past.