Want to manipulate your Audience into thinking a certain way? Leave out key portions of the narrative argument--the Audience can't help but fill in the blanks--often times, without them even realizing they're doing it. What exactly did Louise do in Thelma and Louise? What happened to Chiron those years in-between in Moonlight? Propaganda used smartly draws the Audience in and makes them a part of the storytelling process. Do it overtly and you risk alienating a signficant portion of your Audience (Dunkirk and Okja).



By leaving out a key component of the narrative, the filmmakers draw the Audience in--allowing them to become a part of the storytelling process.

Watching Moonlight is a deeply personal experience. The focus on the Main Character Throughline, the cinematography, the editing—everything brings you in close and whispers Chiron's journey of self-actualization. But what really makes the film such an intimate portrayal is the clever omission of a key element of story structure.



A missing Relationship Story Throughline and a deficient Main Character Throughline steer this narrative towards propaganda.

As covered in the Throughline analysis of Christopher Nolan's WWII thriller, Dunkirk is not a complete story. The lack of a fully-developed Relationship Story Throughline and a weak and deficient Main Character Throughline causes the film to come across more like propaganda, rather than narrative argument. Enough of a story exists, however, to warrant a closer look and perhaps suggest ways to develop the film into a complete narrative.



Whether you intend to or not, leaving out key portions of an argument trends a story towards propaganda and coercion.

In the realm of both satisfying and fulfilling narratives, director Bong Joon Ho takes a step backward with his latest film for Netflix, Okja. His last movie, Snowpiercer tells a complete and compelling argument about the tragedy of trying to alter the forces of inertia. Three parts terrifying and one part picturesque, the sum of Snowpiercer's parts contributes something meaningful beyond a simple joyride.


The Narrative Is Not Real

Our minds can’t help but perceive story in everything we see.

Writing and reading. Reading and writing. What better way to spend our lives than to engage in the thoughts and considerations of others?