Reframing Sadness: The Movie

I just watched the movie, Inside Out. It's an animated Disney movie about what goes on inside a young girl's mind. Pixar consulted with two scientists — Paul Ekman and Dacher Keltner — to make sure the brain, emotions, and memory were depicted accurately. It was quite a movie. It was entertaining, and in some ways, illuminating, especially its depiction of how sadness helps us be happy, and how memories can be colored by emotion. I felt enriched by the movie.

Apparently others have been enriched too. In an interview, one of the consulting scientists (Keltner), said, "The emails I'm getting are astounding. I’ve gotten emails from grandfathers who are like, 'I went with my grandkids and I was crying.' Sixty-year-old men are saying this movie is changing their relationship to their wife. I got an email from a mom who took her highly functioning autistic boy to the movie, and seeing the movie was the first time that this young guy had insight into his emotional difficulty. He said: 'Mom, I know I have anger, fear, and disgust, but I really struggle with sadness and joy — I don't know where they are.' And she said it was their breakthrough moment. I was blown away."

If you'd like to read more about the science behind the movie, here are a few articles I recommend:

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