‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’: The Impact Citizens can have on Political Life

It’s normal not to feel in control. Despite how much we’re told that we’re able to steer our lives, it’s hard to dispute that some of the crucial facts of our existence are mostly determined away from our grasp. This may well be the truth cementing the very foundation of cinema. Stories, in their most common form, put one or multiple characters in front a challenge they need to overcome to achieve a desire. However they react, whether they manage to prevail or whatever they end up becoming in the process, the engine of traditional plots is the protagonist’s attempt to assert control over their life. For better or worse, a sense of agency is imbued into the hero, and by extension, into the viewer. Politics lend itself particularly well to being a narrative hurdle. Those who have attended any kind of political event, or participated even in the most menial party activities, will know that by its very nature, politics is a theater of contrasts and friction. Crucially, what matters is how individuals cope with the unholy entanglement of collective action, ideology and personal interest blocking the path towards their objectives, regardless of their motives.

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