Art & Entertaiment


How The Silent Movie Intolerance Mirrored Historical Attitudes

How The Silent Movie “Intolerance” Mirrored Historical Attitudes

Nineteen sixteen, Intolerance defined means bigotry in order to get others to follow the ideology. In which case, the world has not changed that much. The movie used a woman rocking a cradle that introduced each of the four stories of human intolerance through the ages.

A Woman’s Reform movement needed a rich patron to further their cause. They contacted Mary L. Jenkins, the unmarried sister of an American Mill owner. When she approached her brother about increasing payments to her charities, he called for a ten percent workers cut in pay. In turn, a strike erupted and some of the workers were shot. After a boy watched his father a mill worker die, he turned to crime to make a living.

The movie portrayed different stories of religious bigotry in the form of two gods, one worshiped by the Ancient Babylonians and another God favored by the Ancient Persians. At a later time in France, Huguenots were persecuted and other scenes in an earlier time, leading up to the persecution of Jesus Christ.

Women played a large part each one of the four stories such as; ancient women as marriage chattel, poor women as part of a reformed movement having their children taken from them, and well-off women joining charitable ranks to make a difference. Not realizing, they did more harm than good.

The movie showed ancient battles fought and won all in the name of a righted cause. As well as, modern battles lost between workers wanting better wages and bosses refusing to comply. Also the battle over humane treatment of the poor verses inhumane, it remained the same. If the movie projected a means of intolerance, it also presented the problems of relationships. In fact, it was the hatred between the different forces of beliefs.

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The movie’s theme would be hard to comprehend because the Western World was engaged in “The Great War.” Therefore, the movie’s audience had other worries of husbands, sons and brothers off fighting somewhere in Europe. Perhaps, it was the scenes of battle between the Ancient Babylonians and Persians and the French Huguenots. They were slaughtered for their religious beliefs reminding them of such.

Although the epic pointed out a lot of wrongs about society, it did little to change anyone’s viewpoint. Except for the entertainment factor, the Babylonian scenes and the daily existence of a more modern time, it would have been classified a historical drama.