Movies for Unschoolers
I didn't see it on your list so I wanted to suggest "Little Miss Sunshine." It is one of our *favorite* movies as a family. The description to me should read "A beautiful love story of a dysfunctional family." The end has me sobbing and laughing hysterically all at the same time. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
Wendy S. in GA
Meadow Linden (meadowblue...) recommends:
Lionheart - a documentary about a 17 year old Australian who sailed around the world by himself (the youngest ever). He was not a homeschooler but makes a great case for unschooling.
One movie that I associate with unschooling, because it is about thinking outside the box, and living life passionately (but it is NOT for little kids...) is Pleasantville.
Yes, yes, yes! Loved this whole post. It is imo all about the Power of Story.
Pleasantville is one of our family favorites for just these unschool-y reasons. Then we discovered Strictly Ballroom last week and had great fun relating its themes back to Pleasantville, Dirty Dancing, and Footloose. We decided the Preacher in Footloose, the Mayor in Pleasantville, and the toupeed Dance Association head in Strictly Ballroom (Barry I think) all were the same character, embodying the repressive forces of convention, keeping the populace in line so people can't grow beyond the bounds those leaders represent and believe are necessary.
As an academic thinker, what I like about the heroes in each of these movies is that they beat the controller-standardizers at their own game. In other words, they aren't brought up as rebels or indoctrinated to rebel. They don't set out to be rebels at all, and they don't come to it by default because they aren't able enough to excel within the rules. Instead they come to it gradually and reluctantly, for their own reasons. It is a personal journey with meaning only to that young person who tries first of all to fit in rather than to rebel.
The Strictly Ballroom dancer was the best at all the conventional steps, and then he needed even more, to grow beyond their limits. Tobey Maguire knew and loved everything about the old black-and-white tv world—he didn't want to rebel, but eventually it happened in spite of his desire to fit in, just because its limits couldn't hold him forever.
The preacher's daughter in Footloose who just wants to rebel and run away has a horrible time of it until she's inspired to understand her own feelings and her father's feelings as well. Same with the Dirty Dancing daughter, who is such a good girl in every way, until she meets the rebel dance teacher and her generous heart grows even more, finally breaking through beyond societal limitations. All the successful hero characters first steep themselves in the rules and boundaries and learn to understand them, thereby also learning about and eventually exceeding their own limitations through experience. These are acts of personal growth and discovery, not social rebellion.
Movies for CHEERING UP! Recommended by Paula/sjogy 1/18/02:
Billy Murray in "The man who knew too little"
Good for awakening ideas about learning:
Just plain rich with images, characters, history, ideas, STUFF:
I think those would be easy to see the wealth in. When you get better at it, more comfortable with what your child likes, knows, and wants to know, you could find lots of value in just about any movie. We had plenty to talk about the other day with The Little Princess, with Shirley Temple. We talked LOTS about characterization and motivation and plot detail after the first Ninja Turtle Movie, when the boys were little. They have learned to milk a movie for all it's worth, and I helped. Marty came in halfway through Joe vs. the Volcano (which I bought at the fleamarket after someone quoted it here, or at unschooling.com), and though I offered to rewind it, he was happy to just pick up where it was and fall into it.
How NOT to watch movies:
Don't be cynical and critical and dismissive. Find the good acting, the good sets, the good props. Don't say "OH BROTHER." If there's a movie you really don't like, don't watch it with your kids. For me, that is Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, which I think is atrocious. I walked out of it in the theatre. It was on TV the other night, and I watched some I had missed that first night, and TRIED to watch it to the end, but the script and the acting and the whole concept just irritated me beyond bearing, and I turned it off. If someone else had been watching too and been interested, I would have just left the room instead and let them watch in peace.
Can others add movies to this list? I'll just gather up a list and put it on the web and when this discussion comes up again we can send people there for viewing ideas.
I can't make a long list—I'll have to just add them as they come
Fiddler on the Roof
paula, in a family of movie lovers
So, I am adding our favorite movie videos to this list.
* The King and I
The Truman Show (soundtrack too)
Songcatcher (also own the "soundtrack" even though it isn't really from the movie, but inspired by it)
I don't think anyone mentioned The Princess Bride
Defending Your Life
The Fifth Element
Ditto on Time Bandits and The Secret of Roan Inish.
Anne Mills posted this on Facebook in May 2010:
MY OWN UNSCHOOLING MOVIES LIST
Top Ten Favorite Movie... lists by Lisa Bentley's family, on their "Do Life Right" blog. There are two movie lists (one by her husband, for dads), and top TV shows they saw in 2007. The movie lists include many older movies, and each listing has great commentary.