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Sentimental films make you more liberal, research suggests.Political scientists found that Hollywood movies are better able to change attitudes – in a left-wing direction – than advertising or news reports. Todd Adkins, of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, said audiences seemed to turn off their critical faculties when they reach the cinema.'Viewers come expecting to be entertained and are not prepared to encounter and evaluate political messages as they would during campaign advertisements or network news,’ he said.Dr Adkins’ research, published in the journal Social Science Quarterly, was based on a study of 268 students who were asked about their political views, shown a film and then questioned again. Half identified themselves as politically conservative.The researchers noted a leftward shift in attitudes after the participants saw a film with a liberal message. The movies were As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson and The Rainmaker with Matt Damon.It emerged this week that the FBI considered It’s a Wonderful Life to be sympathetic to communism when it came out in 1946.
When I think of tear jerkers As Good As It Gets and The Rainmaker are not movies that come to mind. The tear jerker among all tear jerkers had to be Hachi-A Dogs Tail. And compassion for a family pet has nothing to do with politics.