A Givers, Doers, & Thinkers Webinar: Hollywood’s Relationship to Civil Society


One of America’s great, if not greatest, cultural influences, both national and global, is its cinema. From The Great Train Robbery to The Whale, for some 120 years Hollywood has played an outsized role in framing the American Experiment, and in shaping the way Americans take to heart their role and obligations as citizens and as members of its civil society. When it comes to defining America, “Hollywood’s Relationship with Civil Society” has mattered for years. We contend it deserves expert contemplation.



On hand to share their seasoned thoughts on Hollywood’s impact on the fiber that holds together 50 states, unalienable rights, and myriad beliefs and traditions will be two of America’s most respected writers:

  • New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who has been filing movie reviews for National Review magazine for nearly two decades
  • And Wall Street Journal film critic Kyle Smith, who has shared his silver-screen thoughts for just as long for the New York Post and National Review


In the free, hour-long webinar conversation—to be hosted by Jack Fowler, the Center’s senior fellow—Douthat and Smith will consider the great movies and directors whose works tease out, reflect upon, embrace, or maybe even denigrate America’s distinct civil society. They will also discuss how important American cinema is to helping define and influence—for good or ill—this political undertaking that Lincoln aptly described as the last best hope of earth.

Warning: Attending what is sure to be an informative and entertaining exploration into important themes about what defines America will not require webinar participants to have an expertise in Turner Classic Movies’ archives!

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