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Rieger, Diana; Hofer, Matthias (2017): How Movies Can Ease the Fear of Death: The Survival or Death of the Protagonists in Meaningful Movies. In: Mass Communication and Society, Vol. 20, No. 5: pp. 710-733
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Abstract

Many media entertainment products address the fragility of life by portraying the severe illness or death of the protagonist. According to terror management theory, people need to create meaning in their lives when they are reminded of their own mortality, for instance, by engaging in close relationships with others. Meaningful films may provide recipients with an anxiety buffer that helps them to cope with