Cinema as Feeling

Film is an incredibly powerful stimulus that can evoke feeling and even bodily sensations. When confronted with a powerful or grotesque scene, we can feel a change happening within our bodies. These actions may be voluntary such as closing your eyes in order to look away, or they can be involuntary such as the sweating of the palms when experiencing suspense. Sobchack explains in his article What My Fingers Knew that cinema is not just experienced with the eyes but with the whole body. That film is meant to be felt and interpreted through our five senses (Sobchack, p.116). This gives the spectator an amplified and more subjective experience when it comes to cinema.

The Boy in Striped Pyjamas (2006) is a very powerful film since its partially shown through the eyes of the parents of an eight-year-old boy during the Holocaust. The film shows an unimaginably dark and dangerous time in the world that impacted millions of people. This film evoked heavily bodily sensations in not only me but also my friends due to the nature of the film and its strong themes. The combination of story by John Boyne and film by Mark Herman allows the spectator to imagine what it would be like to be in that world and what it would be like to be the boy or their parents. It brought back a lot of family memories and made me think a lot about my parents which made the film even more emotional.


Herman, M., et al. (2006). The Boy in Striped Pyjamas. Burbank, CA, Miramax Home Entertainment


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