Every summer there is a sea of action, super-heroes, comedy and even a little teen angst that hits the big screen. Perhaps it’s because they’re bored or just have more freedom but my students start mapping out what they will see the moment they hear a rumor of “what’s to come.” In the summer as I seek conversations with my youth I find these movies a perfect back drop.
Certain movies are already getting a lot of discussion among the youth in my world. I thought it might be helpful to think forward about some questions that might be a great follow-up. They may seem a little silly, but I have already started asking and the conversations are getting to be pretty fun.
The Marvel Universe:
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spiderman 2, X-Men: Futures Past, Guardians Of the Galaxy (Or Super Heroes In General.)
The die-hard comic book fan will know there is a difference this summer between the actual “Marvel” movie and those inspired by “Marvel.” If you are “into” the comic books and so are some students then take them out and talk fun details. Yet most of my students just like the action:
- What separates the “good guys” from the “bad guys” in the way they think about life?
- Even with all their “power” do these “heroes” need a relationship with Christ? Why or why not?
- Do you think that feeling isolated and misunderstood makes you need God more or less (like our lead characters?)
This retelling of the “Sleeping Beauty” story seeks to “humanize” one of the most notorious villains in Disney history. (Also questions to ask if you want to look at the bad guys in the “Marvel” movies.)
- Do you think that sometimes the “villains” in our own lives could just be misunderstood? Why or why not?
- Would you go “bad” if an injustice occurred in your life? Is it justified? Why or why not?
- How would our “bad guys” change if they were to enter a relationship with Christ?
Dystopian Books Gone to Film:
Divergent & The Giver
MockingJay doesn’t hit us until Christmas, so this summer Katniss is taking a break from saving the world. However, we are grappling with a society that is controlling our futures and whether or not we are allowed to “remember” the past. Many of our students will have had to read “The Giver” for school and if they are anything like my own children hated the ending.
- Where is God in a future that seems so “bleak?” Is He there?
- How would you survive in a world like this?
- Is fighting authority always a good thing? What does Christ say about this topic?
The Fault In Our Stars
This book among others written by the author has become a national phenomenon and this summer it makes it’s film debut. It’s not a novel everyone can handle or should read. There are deep themes and a little bit of language as characters deal with having cancer and what that means for a teen. However, it is a tremendous look at how the “average” adolescent thinks about the future, heaven, death and love.
- How do the main characters talk about death, God and heaven?
- How would the story look different if these characters had a relationship with God and didn’t just talk about Him? Would it be different at all?
- Do you think we all have a life that leaves a mark no matter who we are? Why or why not?
One movie they won’t be drawn to, but probably should see:
The story of an illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral, is raised by her aristocratic great uncle. She goes on to fight injustice and slavery, as her mother was a “house servant.”
Apparently, the movie is based on a “real person” but has historical flaws. A great look at the idea of injustice, standing up for what is right and seeing a future no one else sees.
What are your students talking about? Anything you will be asking in particular?