GOOD STUFF HAPPENS
I am just thrilled over what's going on in Ukraine. American movies are filled with the notion that the small can overcome the mighty. But in politics it feels like it's not true -- even though the mighty regularly have to convince the small. In the Ukraine, the powers that be saw a hundred thousand protestors out their window, and decided they weren't going to win a confrontation. It's looking good for democracy in Ukraine ... which might mean hope for democracy in Russia. if the people decide they ever want it back.
I don't know if our movies and TV shows can claim any credit in Ukraine (though I bet they watch them there). But stories are what tell us how to behave. Stories are what tell us what makes a good man, what makes a hero. Without stories, no one would go off to be a soldier and no one would organize a political campaign. I think every soldier and every organizer runs a movie in their head starring themselves. The movie is what keeps them going.
That's one reason I'll write happy endings and bittersweet endings, but I stay away from downer endings. One, I don't like them myself. Two, the audience doesn't like them. But also three, they tell people they won't succeed. People get enough of that in their own lives. I like to tell stories that tell people what succeeding looks like. To put that movie in their head that helps them fight for what they care about. It's not noble or anything. But it's how the movie in my
Here's an informal list of stories with downer endings (where the evil is not completely destroyed and the Protagonist doesn't quite succeed). Please tell me if you or the audience doesn't like them:
Silence Of The Lambs
A Nightmare On Elm Street
Romeo And Juliet
Boyz N' The Hood
All That Jazz
Richard The III
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