Friday, July 11, 2014

Apes vs. humans: Finding common ground

Is war ever truly inevitable?

That question is central to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” opening this weekend. The movie is the latest in the “Apes” drama series featuring a character named Caesar, an ape raised by humans who leads a simian rebellion against the human race.

Fear and misunderstanding can easily lead to violence, says Emory political scientist Shawn Ramirez, an expert on conflict resolution. In this video, Ramirez considers the plot to “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” as a mirror to real-life situations.

“I think it’s really hard when one side sees the other as a lesser – a lesser species or a lesser race or a lesser ethnicity or religion,” Ramirez says. “It’s very hard to overcome that.”

What can one side do when they face that issue?

“I think Hollywood captures this, actually,” Ramirez says, “because usually it’s some central characters that move over to the other side and they start communicating to the other side and realize that there is something more valuable there.”

A wild view of "Planet of the Apes"

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