This short animation from The Atlantic highlights some of Professor Paul Bloom’s thoughts on why empathy—at least a kind of status quo mainstream empathy—isn’t really a good thing at all. The short should really be called “Against warm glow altruism,” as Bloom is focused on building off of Peter Singer’s concept of effective altruism and this isn’t really an argument against empathy per se. The animation is a little rudimentary, but it still serves as a provocation to the burgeoning industry of liberal documentary and its attendant army of NGOs,…read more
One of the common criticisms of advocacy films like Bully that I’ve heard and share is that the filmmakers narrowly focus on victims without ever exploring those who perpetrate. These films help along the equivocal knee-jerk reaction to oppression when we have a two-dimensional villain to point to: kids today! But why do kids bully and what are their lives like? Answering, or at least interrogating, these questions would move us in a direction to better understand the complexities of bullying and would likely elicit a more nuanced, thoughtful reaction…read more
I love this short Argentine animation film Padre, and I think you will too. If the film piques your interest into animation production, then check out the wonderful making-of short the filmmakers have so generously provided here.
The video above was made by Sarah Spring as a promotional tool for the book I co-edited and co-authored, Challenge for Change: Activist Documentary at the National Film Board of Canada.