In the early part of the 20th century Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov edited together a short film in which a shot of the expressionless face of a Tsarist matinee idol was alternated with various other shots (specifically a plate of soup, a girl in a coffin, a woman on a divan). The film was shown to an audience who believed that the expression on the idols face was different each time he appeared, depending on whether he was “looking at” the plate of soup, the girl in the coffin, or the woman on the divan, showing an expression of hunger for the soup, grief for the girl in the coffin or desire for the sultry woman on the divan. The footage of Ivan Mosjoukine, the matinee idol, was actually the same shot each time. Vsevolod Pudovkin (who later claimed co-creation of the experiment) described in 1929 how the audience “raved about the acting… the heavy pensiveness of his mood over the forgotten soup, were touched and moved by the deep sorrow with which he looked on the dead child, and noted the lust with which he observed the woman. But we knew that in all three cases the face was exactly the same.”
The Kuleshov Effect, as it would be called, is a mental phenomenon by which viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation.
The American media has taken a different tact. It shows you a still shot and then pretends this happened in a vacuum. Then it fills in the details.
The viral image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless little body on a Turkish beach was billed as a failure to adequately prepare for a refugee crisis.
What people are not asking are what are Syrian refugees running from?
The West has been intervening in Syria heavily since at least 2012. This started by supporting and arming the jihadist-dominated uprising (or as they were called at the time “moderate rebels”) against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. These were members of al-Qaeda and would also form ISIS.
What the refugees were fleeing was the after effects of Washington’s wars on the planet. There are currently an estimated 2,590,000 refugees who have fled their homes from Afghanistan, 370,000 from Iraq, 3,880,000 million from Syria, and 1,100,000 from Somalia. The United Nations Refugee Agency is expecting at least 130,000 refugees from Yemen as fighting in that country accelerates. Between 600,000 and one million Libyans are living precariously in neighboring Tunisia as stated by Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer.
Most governments, the US included, prefer for their citizens to live in relative ignorance so they can paint a picture when some far away event happens. Even a natural disaster.
For years the US supported Dictators Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier who stole millions of U.S. aid from the Haitian people. The US agricorps flooded Haiti with Cheap taxpayer financed subsidized food which destroyed their local farming and forced them into virtual factory slavery (and into crowded slums like Port-Au-Prince). Their first popularly elected president, Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was deposed by US financed forces after he dared to mention raising the minimum wage to $2 a day. It took a lot of money to keep the Haitians the most poverty stricken nation in the western Hemisphere. And when the earthquake hits the narrative is spun about all the good work that’s done intentionally blind to the precursors which permitted such devastation.
At a basic level Americans remain willful ignorant of the destruction their government does on their dime. When a dead boy washes up on shore we are horrified, thankfully we still have a conscious, but we allow a narrative to be spoon fed to us that is far from the truth. An earthquake hits a nation, lets send a few billion to a slush fund of career criminals and turn the devastated nation into an open air United Nations run brothel.
Now bitching about the government and media is as fruitful as screaming at the earthquake and the tides that washed Aylan ashore. My appeal is tothe people who care about dead boys and devastated nations to become aware of what actions are happening in your name with your money because it is your responsibility. Truly educate yourself on the back story behind these events. Then share the information with others to raise awareness.
And don’t just “raise awareness” of it by liking and sharing the tragedy and then forgetting about it in a few weeks like that Lion shooting Dentist whose name you cant remember…