In some ways, movies are the new books. In fact, movies can teach people about life as much as books can. Here is a list of the top 10 movies that could be used to educate students at school, and reasons why they should be shown. Here we go:
10. Thirteen (2003): Starting off my list is the 2003 indie pic Thirteen. This film I could picture being shown in Health class as it deals with a 13-year-old girl who matures a little too early and experiments with drugs, sex, and alcohol. This movie's basic message is to remind adolescents to not grow up too fast and I feel it could be essential viewing at high schools.
9. Precious (2009): This film may be a more outside-the-box choice on my list, but I feel it could be shown at schools because it basically tells people "If you think you have it rough, look at this girl" and could give students a new perspective on their own lives. I could see it being shown in Sociology class.
8. City of God (2003): Next is the foreign language film City of God, also known as Cidade De Deus. Similarly to how Precious showcases life in the ghetto, City of God portrays life in the slums of Rio De Janeiro as well as violent gangs. The film's main character distances himself from the gang member lifestyle and I feel that with his story, it could inspire students who watch the film to not go down the wrong path. Plus, the film will make plenty of students appreciate the life they have once they watch how awful slum life is.
7. Super Size Me (2004): The only documentary on this list, Super Size Me could very well be essential viewing at schools because of how many adolescents are accustomed to always eating fast food. But the film tells us that once in a blue moon, fast food is okay, but if you eat it excessively, like the man in the film did, your body will slowly shut down. I could definitely see this being shown in Health class.
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998): War is hell, and films like Saving Private Ryan show how war is like the eighth circle of hell. I feel that the film not only showcases the horrors of war, but could make those who watch the film appreciate the soldiers who risk their lives in battle for our country. So, I personally feel it would be a fitting movie to show in school.
5. 12 Years A Slave (2013): The newest entry on this list, 12 Years A Slave brings us back to one of America's guiltiest crimes: slavery. Now, this film is NOT an easy watch. At times, it is very brutal, but that's because it doesn't sugarcoat how badly slavery was or cut away from the sheer horror. I remember when I saw this in theaters, I couldn't hold back my tears. But that is how amazing it is.
4. Requiem For A Dream (2000): Next is a film that I wouldn't categorize as a horror film, but is a real-life one: Requiem For A Dream. Normally, in Health class or with the DARE program, they always just give lectures on how drugs are bad, but by showing this film, it will do most of the talking on why drugs are bad. Like 12 Years, this film is very difficult to watch, but I feel it should be shown at schools to warn students "If you don't do drugs, don't start".
3. Brokeback Mountain (2005): Nowadays, there is plenty of discrimination against the LGBT community, especially in schools. But, I feel that by showing this film in school, it could maybe teach students to be more accepting of gays and lesbians, as it portrays two gay cowboys who are torn apart by society itself. Not only that, but it showcases its message on being more accepting of gays in a more subtle and less patronizing way. Some may be uncomfortable by the film's sexual content, but the film doesn't too much on that.
2. American History X (1998): Not only does American History X showcase how awful racism is, but how it affects the family. So, any student who watches this film and has a few racists in their family may break the chain and not go down the same path. So, this film really hits close to home and like many of the films on this list, is not an easy watch, but it should definitely be watched, especially by adolescents.
1. Schindler's List (1993): Finally is the emotional powerhouse that is known as Schindler's List. A film that reminds us to never forget the past and brings us back to one of humanity's guiltiest crimes: The Holocaust. Not only does this film showcase the horrors of the Holocaust, but it reminds us that there are decent people who can make a difference, like Oskar Schindler, who helped save the lives of 1,200 Jews. I don't just think this film should be mandatory viewing at schools, but mandatory viewing by anybody that has a beating heart.
So, that is my list of the top 10 films that should be shown in schools. If there is any film you'd like to add with a reason as to why it should be shown at school, please feel free to write in the comments section. Thanks for reading!