Movies prepare you for life. All my hopes come from movies, all my fears, all my dream, the genesis of me beginning to understand life come from them. Film doesn't always tell you how to feel, though that can be effective, but it does force your mind into your heart. It asks you questions about your beliefs and leaves you to persuade yourself one way or the other. Film is the one thing my family truly shared when I was young. I cannot remember how we'd ever come to find ourselves in the living room to all watch a movie together, but I remember the emotions I had watching them, and what the days after were like. Spending so much time with these other people you're still getting to know, you don't know what else they're experiencing all the time, but a good film will stick with anyone, and that becomes a shared state of being between you and others. You know no matter what else is happening in their lives, in the moments after experiencing a film together: you are all in a shared state of emotional and mental reflection. Everyone's strengths and weaknesses come to the forefront of their minds and they are vulnerable just as you are, and regardless of whether or not those vulnerable emotions are shared verbally: you know the other person has been affected in some way and now you're all connected. It may only last the day, it may last the week, it may stick with you and start to change the way you behave - and that's powerful. I learned to know my friends and family by the films they chose to watch (both together and alone) and the way those films made them behave. You can walk out of a movie and call your parents when you haven't done it in weeks. You can watch a movie with friends and by the end know deep down you could be a better friend. Could you do this through a walk and a good conversation? Absolutely, but what will be the catalyst that initiates that? Sometimes, we need a little push to take action. Films activate your inner monologue and set off a train of thought that directly flows through whatever you're experiencing in life, and can lead you to new ideas. The more often you experience film with others, the more vulnerable you become. People who don't enjoy art or deride it as unimportant in its various forms know this subconsciously, they are afraid to face themselves and are reluctant to a state of vulnerability. We have to try to connect with them, just as we must connect with those who are like us. The loud and the quiet are the same, we all want deeply to be understood, we just need the right tool to start the conversation. Film can be such a tool, a shared spiritual experience where all are welcome and no one's forced to talk. You're simply commanded to sit and think and feel, what you do after that is your decision, but what led you to taking it was the immersive experience of storytelling.