Historical/Periodic Film Genre Buzz

Movie genres are all diverse and appealing in their own ways, yet some are more dominant than others. The Superhero/sci-fi genre (if this isn’t a category yet, it should be) has dominated box office sales and appeals to kids and adults alike. Filled with strong visuals and a knack for humor, there’s little wonder why superhero and fantasy films steal the spotlight. However, historical/periodic films recently took center stage as they achieved financial success, positive reviews from critics, and award nominations.

2016 ended with several thought-provoking films historical in nature. Hacksaw Ridge depicted a soldier’s internal struggle amidst the violence of World War II. Fences opens a window into the lives of an African American family in the 1950’s. The awe-inspiring story of three female African American mathematicians helping NASA win the Space Race is told in Hidden Figures. A riveting film about faith and self-sacrifice, Silence follows the plight of Jesuit missionaries to find their mentor and spread their religion in 17th century Japan. These films have much in common, from their thought-provoking stories to powerful performances by the actors. The breathtaking visuals that drive audiences through many popcorn movies isn’t the focus in these films. Recurring themes of bravery, self-sacrifice, determination, and faith empower viewers to strive to be their best selves. This form of empowerment is certainly more realistic than the hope embodied in masked vigilantes.

Films strive to embody their genre. Horror films rely on their ability to scare, and comedy flicks count on jokes being funny, but historical/periodic films are unique. They are based on real events/people or set in a real time period; creativity is indeed limited. Such films focus on the storytelling and the perspective of characters, and audiences appreciate them. It is certainly a breath of fresh air from the yearly franchise sequel or remake. Many of the movies mentioned above were recognized by various award ceremonies for their excellence. It’s a win-win for moviegoers to have a film they enjoyed get a nod for its actors, directors or story. More proof that everyone appreciates a compelling film that takes them back in time to offer new perspectives on events widely known.

In short, thousands of movies are made every year. And while only a percentage are popular to mainstream audiences, every genre has its shining moment. Especially films that offer a deep personal connection and nostalgia to audiences. Watching historical/periodic films like the Hidden Figures, Fences, and Hacksaw Ridge deliver a sense of grounded reality and encourage us to set attainable goals. What better way to plan the future than by learning from the past?