Movies are a means of learning about life and culture. Granted, many movies are sensationalism and fiction at their best and worst, but within each picture devised and delivered to viewers there is some small nugget of wisdom. There is something to be learned in any viewing experience be it positive or negative.
Every part of a movie becomes an added piece of culture that is integrated into modern life. Long before the film industry ever reached its current level of influence within society storytelling was a widely accepted and even vitally important aspect of any culture. In this modern age movies have become the medium through which cultural changes are observed. They have also become, in some regards, teaching tools used to instruct the younger generations.
Used to tell a story, movies are often used to capture humanity's greatest tragedies or their greatest triumphs. It makes little difference if human beings are the protagonists or the antagonists in a given film, as it is typical to see the iniquities and/or strengths within any production. Humanity tends to interject morals and emotions within any movie regardless of the cast, and as a result an attempt is always made to teach a lesson of some sort.
Kids' films are a perfect example of this trend. Throughout the history of film any picture designed to cater to children has always carried within its plot a means by which to teach fundamental lessons to children. Even if the film in question is for pure entertainment purposes there will always be a lesson to be learned from the manner in which the characters conduct themselves.
Great examples of this are films such as "The Sandlot" which showcases a group of baseball-loving misfits. The film seems to have no true lesson other than how to form lasting friendships, but in truth it teaches children several other life lessons that are hidden within the hilarity of film. This is the essence of filmmaking. There is always something to be learned from movies, no matter how hard one must look.
How society learns from movies varies according to their content. They can inspire, terrify, and even cause emotional shifts that in turn can create changes in society that might never happen otherwise. Movies are a powerful medium that can bring about change in many different ways. One very important method used is the message that is delivered to the viewers through clever uses of dialogue, content, and even the environment in which a film takes place.
Another inspiring children's film teaches a much more obvious lesson. "Little Giants," another sports film, imparts to children the need to try, to push the limits of what one can do. The never give up attitude of the children in the film has managed to encourage many kids to do what they love and continue even if they fail the first time. Movies have the ability to make the impossible seem attainable, and in doing so push society to even greater heights.