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Freaky Friday

Image(The Jameson Rating: 65% A Disney classic that could mend any fight between mother and daughter. Now a little out dated, making it is difficult for modern mother-daughter movie nights.) This week we watched an RSA Animate video on empathy. Previous to the idea I only saw empathy as a sort of feeling one has for another when they are experiencing a hardship. For example, if someone had just lost someone very close to them, I would feel empathetic. That’s all the word meant to me, until I saw this video. It turns out that there’s a whole lot more to empathy, and it isn’t all about being warm-hearted and caring. If anything, as the narrator describes, empathy is actually quite dangerous. Empathy can lead to revolutions of human relationships. There are two types of empathy: affective empathy, in which a person shares another’s feelings by watching them experience those feelings, and cognitive empathy, in which one puts themselves in another’s shoes entirely. One of the most famous examples in movie history of people in a state of cognitive empathy is the 1976 Walt Disney original “Freaky Friday”. In the film only the worst imaginable for a teenage girl that could ever happen, happens. Annabel Andrews switches bodies with her mother, Ellen Andrews, after a strange incident on Friday the 13th. The two must both spend a day trapped within each other’s body, while experiencing a whole new world. Ellen must experience what it’s like to be a teenager in the modern world with technology in a typing class, and Annabel must understand what it’s like to be an adult while having to organize a banquet. It was because of this film that over a couple dozen more body-switching movies were made. It teaches the audience that you have to try to understand other people’s difficulties, and perhaps be a little more empathetic (in the good way) for them.

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