Moral Values In Film

1252 Words6 Pages
One can examine the moral foundations and ethical principles of various characters within the context of film with respect to not only those ethical principles and moral foundations, but also in context of the greater social and political circumstances shaping each individual character. For example, the character “Paul” in Terry George’s acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda and none other than civil rights legend Mahatma Ghandi depicted in Attenborough’s feature film Ghandi are perhaps two excellent filmographic representations of how the stress response caused by and the character’s subsequent reactions to oppressive social and political forces can accentuate the protagonist’s ethical principles and moral foundations in each respective film. While…show more content…
First, it must be understood there is a clear difference between morals and ethics. Morals can be considered values or the set of principles that govern what is right or wrong while ethics is merely defined as the careful analysis of morality (Gibson, 2014). Thus, by analyzing the behavior of the protagonist in each film, the moral foundations of both Paul and Ghandi can be extracted. However, only by analyzing those values, extrapolating upon them, and ascribing meaning to those moral principles can one derive at the very least a plausible analysis of each character’s individual ethics. In the case of Paul, as he is a business man his moral foundations tend to revolve around resolving conflicts apolitically by obtaining and maintaining friendship with those in power through a relationship of a transactional nature. In other words, Paul’s moral foundation in part greatly revolves around the exchange of material goods to achieve a favorable outcome. Further, Paul’s moral foundation dictates the supreme importance of his family before that of anyone else, even in the context of a life-threatening situation. Thus, in circumspect, it could be said Paul’s ethical principles center around that of what would be considered the modern-day business-minded “family man,” wherein one’s own family is of the greatest significance and the individual’s ethics center around appeasement and transactional relationships in order to achieve success or resolve conflict. Conversely, Ghandi’s moral compass centers on an idealist vision of “perfect” equitability among those he views as his peers, irrespective of the social, political, and cultural definitions of society which might render him inferior. Ghandi’s moral foundation
Open Document