In the online magazine Film Matters issue of January 2010 there a very interesting article about colonist thinking in movies. It is specifically about Australia and the situation with Aboriginal people in movies. It points out how often orphaned aboriginal children are taken care of by white, colonist women with some form of natural and unquestioned right; how often movies are made from the “civilized” society’s point of view.
We as storytellers should be very aware that everything we tell - in one form or another – mirrors ourselves. What point of view do you have? What things do you take for granted in a way that you don’t even reflect on the situation? That is worth a thought I think.
Is a storyteller’s job to tell others about their own view of things and their hopes about how the world should be? Or is it as storyteller’s job to learn from those who’s point of view you don’t possess? Is a storyteller only an entertainer, or is there a deeper responsibility?
I like to believe that there is more to storytelling than deliver gladiators to a show. Humans have always told stories and they are proven to have a supporting, healing and/or therapeutic effect on the listeners.
Does this mean responsibility? Yes.
Does it mean you can’t say what you like? No. I think you are entitled to tell any story you want.
But you should be aware of what you tell.