Like a Facing History classroom conversation, films can inspire reflection about moral choices. On January 27 at our Los Angeles Benefit Dinner, we were honored to have Sir Ben Kingsley introduce a segment on his recent film, Ender's Game about a young boy searching for his moral identity under enormous pressure. Sir Ben spoke about the way film is the modern version of bringing the tribe together at the bonfire to share stories.
"I think it is very important to look at the difficult times in our past in order to understand human behavior. . . .Without an honest look at our darkest moments, we dodge an enormous responsibility."
Earlier in January, Facing History students watched Ender's Game and created six-word essays in response to the film. It was an incredible day with these thoughtful students who really connected with the struggles of the lead character Ender Wiggin to find his voice, and ultimately, to have the courage to stand up for what he believed in.
Also at the January 27 benefit was Los Angeles Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan. Turan is writing a book about his favorite films and reflected on what he has discovered about the movies that have stayed with him. "I find individual moral choices to be as exciting as the ones action heroes make in blockbusters."
Facing History has always used film to explore history and human behavior and has written guides to some of those films that have had a huge societal impact, such as Schindler's List and BULLY.
What about you? Is there a film that exemplifies moral dilemmas that has stayed with you? Is there one that engages your students in becoming moral philosophers themselves?
It would be great if we can generate a list to share with our network!