Movies with Meaning – Trust and Consistency

Weekly series. Do please send suggestions via email, twitter etc. You can send a theme and/or specific movies. Each week we feature three movies with meaning, so send in a movie with a sentence or two on the core meaning you take from it and a clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning.

Recently I was at a talk given by Rachel Botsman, author of “who can you trust” who I found last year (thank you google search) is pretty much the only other person using the term “distributed trust” to describe the trust revolution ahead of us (and I’ve written about this in multiple posts on this site).

Anyway, inspiring talk and one piece she talked about was to ask who the most trusted person in the UK is. A survey has been done on this, and the answer was David Attenborough, who has been making TV documentaries on nature for many decades, and is still doing so in his 90s.

To me, the key reason we trust him is his consistency. He has never varied in what he is about, what he does, why he does it.

There are many elements around what makes us trust others, today I focus on consistency. Yes, the work of Joseph Campbell means that so many movie characters live the dramatic steps of the hero’s journey, yet some of our heroes we trust as they have a powerful consistency of intention and purpose under pressure throughout.

Spy Game (2001)

An absolute masterpiece.

Robert Redford plays the part beautifully. Stoic, consistent and oozes integrity and calm.

His protegé trusted him, and every part of his DNA meant he could not ever betray that.

As the Dire Straits song says “you did not desert me my brothers in arms”.

I can and have watched this again and again.

The trailer implies all action, but most of the movie is in dry meeting rooms with guys in suits, the action is in the flashbacks. The soundtrack is also stunning, gradually ratchets up the tension, yet as it rises the lead character remains stoic, consistent, trustworthy.


Saving Private Ryan (1986)

Warning, plot spoiler. This scene is of the leader, played by Tom Hanks, sharing his story.

Throughout the movie, in a chaotic hell, he is stoically consistent. His consistency means that his men, at a time when they cannot hold onto anything they can trust, know they can trust him, and that means they will follow him through anything.


The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Dude, El Duderino.

Classic movie, virtually no plot, nihilistic… and throughout all…

“The Dude Abides”


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