Films (to learn from) in 2015

Everybody knows that we remember images better than words, so what better way to learn some Humanities topics, than sit back with a large popcorn and watch a film with friends.

filming

Here are a few films due for release in 2015 which might let you learn whilst you relax, as long as the age rating is appropriate (information from the Guardian):

I Am Michael
James Franco plays a gay activist who rejects his homosexuality and becomes a Christian pastor. Zachary Quinto is his boyfriend. Premieres at Sundance.

Last Days of the Devil
Ewan McGregor is Jesus and the devil in an imagined chapter from the Bible’s desert-set bit. Premieres at Sundance.

Louder than Bombs
Jesse Eisenberg plays the son of war photographer Isabelle Huppert in a New York-set family drama directed by Joachim Trier, making his English language debut.

Racing Extinction
The new documentary from Louie (The Cove) Psihoyos examines animal extinction by means of grisly and traumatic undercover footage. Premieres at Sundance.

Silence
Scorsese returns to religious themes with this adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel, following the travails of Jesuit missionaries in 17th century Japan. Liam Neeson and Andrew Garfield lead the way. An awards run is in the air, so end of year release likely.

Suffragette
Meryl Streep plays Emmeline Pankhurst in this timely dramatisation of the struggle for women’s voting rights in the UK, backed up by a starry cast including Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw. Prime awards fodder, with autumn festival run and September release in the UK planned.

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“La plume est plus forte que l’epee”

There is so much in the news right now about the Charlie Hebdo journalists being attacked and killed, and how Muslims feel about their faith and especially the prophet Mohammad being satirised.

There has been horrendous loss of life and today more danger unfolds with hostages being taken in a kosher supermarket in France.

pens versus terrorist

Questions of freedom of speech, religious beliefs, multiculturalism, terrorism and how people respond to safety threats – all issues which we study in GCSE Religious Studies. Watching the scenes in Paris not only makes me fear for the safety of loved ones, creates anguish when I consider the families who’ve lost their soul mate, parent or child, but also immediately makes me want to learn more about the world and where we live.

An interesting article on the BBC debates the origins of the famous phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword”.

Another BBC article ponders how well Islam has integrated in Europe.

Je-Suis-Charlie-cartoons

Meanwhile comments by British politicians about the risk of similar terrorist attacks in Britain also allude to the need for our secret services and police to have more power. It is always worth keeping eye on when there seems to be a promotion of stronger police powers and less liberty for the people.

Charlie-Hebdo- not afraid

Then with all the fear and shocking news coverage, perhaps we should take time to give names and identities to the dead, learn something about them, what made them tick, what drove them to make risky decisions in the name of freedom of speech. The Guardian reports about Georges Wolinski and interviews his daughter.