How strange it must have been during the time of Prohibition. Tonight I (whiskey) had my monthly Silent Film event called Silent Music Revival. Before the feature film, I projected a cartoon short comedy about then-current events, as was done almost one hundred year ago, today.
The film was Breath of a Nation (1919), an obvious pun on the 1915 classic Birth of a Nation, and although this film had nothing to do with what it pays homage, it still, similarly, offers commentary on the social situation of its time.
Breath of a Nation is a more lighthearted Prohibition-mocking film that shows the openly-underground use of alcohol during a time that it was illegal.
While watching this film I couldn’t help but hysterically wonder whether films like Half Baked or Dazed and Confused would find itself in the same strange category with substances that were “at one point illegal, openly used until the government gave up and made them legal” category. I am not just saying this because I am an advocate for the legalization of marijuana (now conservative relatives don’t be upset, your party is headed this direction as well, just check the conservative opinion on the matter). I say this as a silent film enthusiast, who wonders, “what about our society will change?”
Silent Films are wonderful because they allow you to view a culture from the past that you are completely disconnected from. You can see how we have stayed the same and how we have changed. Call me an old fashioned progressive, but we can’t go forward without getting a glimpse of the past.