Learn a lot from watching movies

January 29, 2019

“Do I have a stamp on my forehead that says ‘The National Spokesperson for the Plight of Black People’? How should I know the black perspective on ‘The Color Purple’ ”? — From “Freedom Writers” in 2007.

It’s amazing just how much of an impact certain movies can have on us. Parents always tend to tell their children that watching too much television won’t help them learn anything. However, growing up I haven’t found that statement to be completely true.

Of course, some movies are solely created to make us laugh, some just to make us cry, and the best ones are created to teach us something valuable.

I have been a movie fanatic since I can remember. My family and I used to go to the old Blockbuster in town when I was younger until it closed down. For me, renting movies every weekend was what I always looked forward to all week long. Movies could fill my living room with laughter, tears and even confusion at times.

As we mature, so does our taste— and the certain kinds of movies we once liked don’t suit us as much anymore. We may have crawled our way out of PG-13 movies and onto R-rated movies.

Typically when we’re young, our favorite kinds of movies tend to be animated, comedy, or simply movies with the leading role as a dog. As we grow, our minds ripen, and we become open to movies that have valuable lessons in them. That has been the case for me. Of course, I still love any comedy or animated movie, but they’re not really what I enjoy as much anymore.

Reflecting on my favorite movies, I can definitely say that they have all carried valuable lessons in them.

The first movie I ever watched that I felt had a real meaning behind it was “Freedom Writers.”

This movie is based on the true lives of students in an English class at Woodrow Wilson Classical High School in Long Beach, Calif. In the beginning of this movie, you are able to see complete strangers sitting in a classroom that is divided — because the students are stubborn to stick to their cliques. These cliques were usually set apart by your race. If you were Hispanic, you weren’t to associate with other non-Hispanics. If you were black, you weren’t to associate with non-blacks, etc.

I believe that the thought of sticking to your own wasn’t something these students were born with. Rather, it was something that had been taught to them by the older generations around them.

I fell in love with the kinds of movies that had a real meaning to them, because I was always able to learn something new. I was able to learn how someone different from you could get hurt by something you may say, even if it’s small.

Aside from this, I learned many other valuable lessons from the messages movies carried.

Movies can jerk tears out of you, make the milk come out of your nose with laughter, and they can teach you things that sometimes those around you can’t always teach you. Sometimes our family and teachers aren’t always able to talk to us about certain subjects, and that’s OK.

As people, it’s hard for us to have one-on-one conversations about touchy subjects, which is why movies can be very helpful. They can sometimes give us a better understanding on certain subjects.

If I had to pick my top three favorite movies they’d definitely have to be “Freedom Writers,” “The Help” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Each one of these movies taught me lessons that I try to live by. I have learned to accept others and to love them even more because of our differences.

These favorite movies of mine, can teach us that, despite our backgrounds, we’re more alike with a lot of people than we realize! Whether I end up hysterically laughing on the floor by the end of the movie, or crying a river, there’s no doubt that movies can change us. At times, they may even change the way we view things and give us a better understanding on all that is life.

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