Movies Change Lives
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More About This Title Movies Change Lives


Movies Change Lives is a rigorous interdisciplinary examination of cinema as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. Interdisciplinary scholar Tony Kashani builds a theory of humanistic transformation by discussing many movies while engaging the works of philosopher/psychologist Erich Fromm, cultural studies theorist Stuart Hall, critical pedagogy theorist Henry Giroux, political philosopher Hannah Arendt, the great French thinker Edgar Morin, the pioneering psychologist Carl Jung, the co-founder of string theory, physicist Michio Kaku, and Frankfurt School philosopher Jürgen Habermas, among others. The book argues that in the globalized world of the twenty-first century, humanity is in dire need of personal and social transformation. Movies have universal appeal and can deeply affect their audiences in a short time. Coupled with critical pedagogy, they can become tools of personal and social transformation. Movies Change Lives is an ideal text for graduate and upper-division undergraduate courses on film (cinema) and society, visual culture, consciousness studies, transformative studies, media and social change, advanced personal and social psychology, and political philosophy.


Tony Kashani (PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies) teaches interdisciplinary studies courses at Southern New Hampshire University. His previous books include Deconstructing the Mystique: An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Cinema (2009) and Lost in Media: The Ethics of Everyday Life (Peter Lang, 2013).


Contents: Pertinent Theories – Cinema as Pedagogy for Constructive – Humanistic Transformation – Ten Movies: Mississippi Masala, Syriana, The Runner (Davandeh), The Truman Show The Matrix, Match Point, Paradise Now, Doubt, Her, A Separation.


«Tony Kashani has written an engaging and thought-provoking philosophical meditation on what cinema, from Hollywood blockbusters to Italian neo-realism, can teach us about our socio-political predicament. The fascinating discussion of film noir alone is worth the price of admission.»
(David Ingram, Professor of Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago)

«Movies Change Lives is a brilliant engagement with film as a form of public pedagogy. Broadening the scope of the meaning of education and its possibilities as a crucial sphere of learning, Tony Kashani demonstrates the profound importance of understanding film as a pedagogical site that both informs and closes down how we understand the relationship between ourselves and others. Every educator should read this book.»
(Henry Giroux, Author of The Violence of Organized Forgetting (2015)

«Tony Kashani is one of our shrewdest and most brilliant cultural analysts. Driven by his faith in cinema as an art form par excellence for raising consciousness, he boldly looks to do no less than re-humanize society through film. A remarkable goal!»
(Toby Miller, Author of Blow Up the Humanities (2012)

«Tony Kashani has given us a deeply humanistic examination of today’s cinema and its potential to transform human consciousness that is both thoughtful and delightful to read.»
(Allan Combs, Professor of Consciousness Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies)