I was going through some old movie magazines and I discovered the results of an online survey held in 2010. Nearly 3000 Brits agreed that Bambi was the biggest tearjerker of all times. Most tears were shed at the moment when Bambi watched how his mother got shot. I’ve got a few movie moments myself that made me sob like a little girl. Not Bambi but another Disney classic made me cry, I couldn’t watch Mowgli the human boy leave his animal friends and move to the human village. Therefore I ruined the ending of the movie for a lot of people in the cinema by screaming and crying the last few minutes of the movie. “All dogs go to heaven” was a cartoon that my young soul also couldn’t bear. Multiple dead animals in 90 minutes is just something my mind simply can not handle.
But I noticed something over the last few years, whether it’s an overkill of death cartoon animals or due to the simple fact that life hardened me, I lack any emotion whilst watching a movie. As if being a professional pokerplayer, I sit in front of the television, no emotions, no tears, no fear and almost no laughs. This last one is also due to the fact that hollywood seems to be unable to create a lot of good comedy films lately. Quantity, not quality seems to be rule of thumb. I would honestly give my left nut to once again ride a movie like an emotional rollercoaster, and cry at the exact moment the director and crew want me to. But films about cancer, aids, rape or little dying children, it just doesn’t really affect me anymore. I can’t deny that my mood drops to a point well below zero if I watch a sad movie, but crying? Not anymore.
The lack of fear I have while watching movies is easily explainable, it’s mostly due to the fact that the neighbour’s son was a bit older than me. So if I went over there to watch a movie it was probably rated far above my age. While the kids in the neighbourhood gathered and we were sitting there in the livingroom watching a movie, everybody was waiting untill the babysitter got shot in the head with an arrow. Everybody laughed and it was in this moment that I learned that death and violence was not scary but funny. I don’t get scared anymore, I might jump up from my seat after hearing a loud noise but that’s it. I long for the time when watching movies were an emotional happening. But because of al the daily trash that appears on the television screen after pressing the “on” button people are not easily shocked anymore.
Bambi knew how to make people cry. A character full of innocence that is treated in a bad way is a perfect ingredient for tears. But Bambi is already almost 70 years ago. And in these 70 years a lot changed. People got harder and less and less sensitive for emotions on screen. Because how can we shed a tear for emotions that are fake thus acted if we don’t even shed one for the real emotions and images we see on the news every day. A drawn deer caused a lot of people more tears than a starving, bleedings afghan boy. And that fact honestly makes me cry…