Film — The 21st Century Language

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom. This week we explore a short film about the importance of film education. Please feel free to leave a comment.

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Film Literacy is Essential for 21st Century Students

“The best kind of film education engages young people in active learning. It goes beyond just passively consuming or watching film”

Kenneth Branagh

Actor Kenneth Branagh advocates for film literacy education.   {Click on image for source information.}

21st Century Literacy is a a film education methodology designed to help students develop media literacy skills.  21st Century Literacy is backed by the British Film Institute,  Film Club, First Light and the UK Film Council. They also work closely with the National and Regional Screen Agencies and Skillset.

Check out this short film where actor Kenneth Branagh discusses the benefits of using film and moving images in the classroom.

We here at Labragirl certainly agree with the importance of film literacy.

Do you?

Do you use film in your classroom? What are some of your favorite film literacy exercises or conversations?

Would you like help using film in the classroom? If so, contact us!

 

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Sign up for our e-newsletter for more lesson plans and classroom conversations. Click here. 

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Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

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Lost Voices: X’s Story Restored

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom.

Last week we joined a conversation from our sister company – Labragirl Pictures‘ blog.  This discussion about the film The Stoning of Soraya M. combined film analysis with two of the Labragirl Film Project’s goals:

  • Fostering a global perspective
  • Addressing racial and gender inequalities

This week we join another conversation from our sister company – Labragirl Pictures‘ blog. This week we talk about Spike Lee’s visual portrayal of Malcolm X. This week’s discussion is aligned with Labragirl Film Project’s goal of helping students see and discuss how moving images shape our understanding of the past.

Please comment below or discuss with us on 

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700-Movie-Reel

Classroom Discussion Synopsis: 

This week’s Moving Images-Moving Forward conversation explores Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X.

Grade Level: High School & College

Educational Goals:

  • Help students apply film analysis and film reading skills to larger historical discussions
  • Help students think critically about their interactions with moving images
  • Encourage students to navigate critical thinking discussions about moving images & historical images

Malcolm X, 1993

{Click on image for source information.}

In 1992, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X brought an important voice back to the public sphere. Clearly, in his time, this passionate Civil Rights leader was a household name. However, with the passing of time, Malcolm X and many of the other Civil Rights leaders’ names faded from popular culture discussions.

Malcolm X Movie Trailer

In fact, during my years teaching history I was consistently amazed by the number of students who had not heard of Malcolm X and/or did not know of his role in the Civil Rights Movement. Malcolm X brought the story of an important Civil Rights Leader back into the public sphere, allowing us a more robust image of this pivotal time period in American history.

Denzel Washington as Malcolm X. {Click on image for source information.}

What do you think about Spike Lee’s portrayal of Malcolm X?

What do you think of the movie?

How does Lee’s portrayal of Malcolm X shape the way we understand the Civil Rights Movement?

We’d love to discuss with you.

Thanks,

Laurie

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Did you use any of these discussions or activities in your classroom? How did it go?

Do you teach film reading and film analysis?

What are some exercises you use?

We’d love to hear from you.

Please comment below or discuss with us on .

*Disclaimer: All movie clips are suggestions for class use, only. All instructors should screen clips to determine if they are appropriate to use in their classrooms. 

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UP NEXT 6/10: It’s Summertime!

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Sign up for our e-newsletter for more lesson plans and classroom conversations. Click here. 

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Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

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Previous Blog Entries

Lost Voices: The Stoning of Soraya M.

Film & Cultural Memory I

Film Education

Relevance – the 4th ‘R’

Making Film I

Talking Film I

Downton Abbey in Your Class #1 – Roll Sound!

Reading Film

Fictional Projections of History

Think Globally Using Film

Our Relationship with Movies

Moving Past Historical Accuracy

Images Telling Stories

Film Shaping History

Think Film Images

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©2013 Labragirl Film Project. All rights reserved.

Lost Voices: The Stoning of Soraya M.

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom.

Last week we discussed cultural memory and the role moving images playing in shaping our collective understanding of the past.

This week we are joining a conversation from our sister company – Labragirl Pictures‘ blog.  This discussion about the film The Stoning of Soraya M. combines film analysis with two of the Labragirl Film Project’s goals:

  • Fostering a global perspective
  • Addressing racial and gender inequalities 

Please comment below or discuss with us on 

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700-Movie-Reel

Classroom Discussion Synopsis: 

This week’s Moving Images-Moving Forward conversation explores the film The Stoning of Soraya M.

Grade Level: High School & College

Educational Goals:

  • Help students apply film analysis and film reading skills to larger global discussions
  • Foster a global perspective and understanding of the world
  • Help students think critically about their interactions with moving images
  • Encourage students to navigate critical thinking discussions about moving images & historical images

The Stoning of Soraya M., 2008

{Warning: This blog post contains movie spoilers.}

Based on a true story, The Stoning of Soraya M. was adapted from the book La femme lapidé by Iranian—French journalist Freidoune Sahebjam. Sahebjam’s book was also published in English as: The Stoning of Soraya M.: A Story of Injustice in Iran.

{Click on image for source info.}

Have you seen The Stoning of Soraya M.?

What do you think about it?

This film tells the story of an Iranian woman who was unjustly stoned to death in 1986. This movie provides an intimate look into a small, remote Iranian village – exploring customs, morals, and social norms. Additionally, visual life and sound are given to the women in this town—women who have been otherwise silenced.

The Stoning of Soraya M. Official Trailer

Perhaps most disturbing in this movie is the 20+ minute stoning scene. It’s real, brutal, and visually intense. What makes this sequence so disturbing is also what seems to give the story and the characters in this film stronger voices. If the filmmakers had chosen to allude to the stoning, rather than recreate the execution, then maybe the story wouldn’t be as shocking.

A still from the film’s stoning scene. {Source: http://dianiko.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/the-stoning-of-soraya-m/}

If the stoning scene were shorter then maybe the slow and painful process of stoning would not seem as violent or tragic. Or, maybe if the stoning was filmed from a distance rather than with a series of close-up images, the reality of the situation wouldn’t be as powerful.

What do you think about these images?

Would this movie had been the same without such a prolonged and unapologetic stoning scene?

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Did you use any of these discussions or activities in your classroom? How did it go?

Do you teach film reading and film analysis?

What are some exercises you use?

We’d love to hear from you.

Please comment below or discuss with us on .

*Disclaimer: All movie clips are suggestions for class use, only. All instructors should screen clips to determine if they are appropriate to use in their classrooms. 

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UP NEXT 6/3: Lost Voices: X Restored

Labragirl FP-logo-color-reverse

   

Sign up for our e-newsletter for more lesson plans and classroom conversations. Click here. 

———————————————————————————————————————–

Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Previous Blog Entries

Film & Cultural Memory I

Film Education

Relevance – the 4th ‘R’

Making Film I

Talking Film I

Downton Abbey in Your Class #1 – Roll Sound!

Reading Film

Fictional Projections of History

Think Globally Using Film

Our Relationship with Movies

Moving Past Historical Accuracy

Images Telling Stories

Film Shaping History

Think Film Images

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©2013 Labragirl Film Project. All rights reserved.

Film & Cultural Memory I

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom.

Last week we recommended Film Education and their materials for helping teachers incorporate film into both primary and secondary education.

This week we discuss cultural memory and the role moving images playing in shaping our collective understanding of the past.

Please comment below or discuss with us on 

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700-Movie-Reel

Classroom Discussion Synopsis: 

This week’s Moving Images-Moving Forward conversation explores the idea of cultural memory and how moving images shape the way we understand the past.

Grade Level: High School & College

Educational Goals:

  • Help students apply classroom skills to the real world and vice versa
  • Incorporate film analysis into popular culture discussions
  • Help students think critically about their interactions with moving images
  • Enable students to participate in discussions about the fluidity of history
  • Encourage students to navigate critical thinking discussions about moving images & historical images
Exercise Philosophy:

The main goal of this exercise is to help bridge the gap between the classroom and the ‘real world.’ Oftentimes, film is left out of  history classrooms because movies are fictional accounts of the past. Although this approach is valid, keeping film out of history discussions altogether leaves students without the critical analysis and film reading skills to understand how films shape the way we understand the past—collectively speaking.

Although Labragirl does not advocate the use of historical films to teach historical “facts” or “truth,” we do believe that it is necessary for students to be able to dissect, analyze, and discuss how historical films shape our popular culture understanding and view of the past.

Exercise Activity & Process:

1. Discuss the idea of cultural memory and collective memory.

Although we can clearly get into very complex and detailed conversations about cultural memory and collective memory, for this introductory conversation simply discuss with students the idea that there is a common and collective understanding of our past.  Also, I suggest engaging in a discussion about how this collective understanding of the past is shaped, in large part, by moving images.

2. Why is it important to understand cultural memory and collective memory?

Certainly the history classroom is a place to examine primary sources to learn about what happened in the past, however we here at Labragirl believe that it’s also important to help students navigate the abstract terrain that is our popular culture understanding of the past.

We believe that it is important to understand how our collective memory is created because we make individual and collective decisions based on our understanding of the past.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

How is cultural memory created? Shaped? Perpetuated?

3. Examples of our cultural memory.

An example of a common image of our history is Thanksgiving and the relationship between European settlers and Native Americans.

In the classroom, we know that Thanksgiving likely looked more like this. . .

{Click on image for source info.}

. . .rather than this. . .

{Click on image for source info.}

Despite the academic and educational knowledge that the image of a happy and iconic Thanksgiving is not historically accurate, this idyllic image and understanding of the past persists in popular culture.

Why?

3. Apply the concept of cultural memory to a particular concept, time period, person, or issue. This Film & Cultural Memory conversation can be applied to any historical topic, issue, person, or time period.

WWII

Today our conversation centers around World War II.

Because WWII is a very popular topic and the subject of many movies and tv shows students have a firm image of what the war was like.

Note: At this point, I do not suggest talking about the historical accuracy of the clips below. The goal of this exercise is to determine how our collective understanding of the past was shaped. It’s important for students to be able to explore the abstract and complex ides of how films create a popular culture image of the past—in this case World War II.

I. Watch and discuss each clip individually.

Below you will find several clips from popular WWII movies.

Some suggested discussion questions include:

  • How is WWII portrayed in each clip?
  • How is war portrayed in each clip?
  • How is the military portrayed in each clip?
  • How are the enemies and allies portrayed?
  • How do cinematic elements such as music, editing, film shots, and lighting shape the images?
  • How do these images shape the way we understand the past, collectively?

*Note: Many of the clips show images of war and are graphic. Make certain to preview the clips to determine whether or not they are appropriate for viewing in your class.

Saving Private Ryan

Letters of Iwo Jima

Schindler’s List

The Thin Red Line

Pearl Harbor

II. Discuss the group of clips.

How do these clips work together to shape our visual understanding of the past?

Do some of the more recent movies perpetuate ideas from earlier movies?

III. Add in additional clips that either you or your students suggest. Discuss.

Did you use any of these discussions or activities in your classroom? How did it go?

Do you teach film reading and film analysis?

What are some exercises you use?

We’d love to hear from you.

Please comment below or discuss with us on .

*Disclaimer: All movie clips are suggestions for class use, only. All instructors should screen clips to determine if they are appropriate to use in their classrooms. 

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UP NEXT 5/13: Lost Voices—The Stoning of Soraya M.

Labragirl FP-logo-color-reverse

   

Sign up for our e-newsletter for more lesson plans and classroom conversations. Click here. 

———————————————————————————————————————–

Bring Labragirl into your classroom. Contact us at info@labragirlfilmproject.org or fill out our Interest & Inquiry Form.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Previous Blog Entries

Film Education

Relevance – the 4th ‘R’

Making Film I

Talking Film I

Downton Abbey in Your Class #1 – Roll Sound!

Reading Film

Fictional Projections of History

Think Globally Using Film

Our Relationship with Movies

Moving Past Historical Accuracy

Images Telling Stories

Film Shaping History

Think Film Images

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©2013 Labragirl Film Project. All rights reserved.