Films are often seen as an escape from reality. A medium that allows you to leave aside your worries and enter a new zone, each time. But there is another school of thinking that looks at movies as a medium of change, to inspire, to inculcate thinking and most importantly, to educate. There have been many films which have dealt intricately with education as its main theme. The way education and issues around it have been treated differently, make these films even more empowering. They move away from the cliches associated adding spark, life, and showing the power of education throughout.
Here’s looking at a few...
“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” As John Keating speaks these lines in the film, Dead Poets Society, he comes across as a truly inspiring teacher. He not only teaches but encourages students to see more to life. While many see it as a rebellious act, many refer to the film as an act of change towards true education. Another such film, Freedom Writers, revolves around the real-life story of Erin Gruwell and her students. She adopts interactive methods to teach a class of students who appear unruly. Erin takes upon the challenge to understand them, their behavior, soon coming upon their disturbing stories. Through writing and working as a group, she builds strong connections, helping them transform in a life-changing way.
The much acclaimed Taare Zameen Par, not only talks about education and problems associated, but shows a way out too. The story of a dyslexic boy and his supportive teacher changed perspectives. ‘Every child is special’, ‘Don’t force your children to lead your dreams, let them dream too’ and other such messages in the film helped in looking at teacher-student, student-parent and parent-teacher relationships differently.
Seeing how instrumental films can be, many non-profit organizations too have touched upon education through films. Smile Foundation produced the award winning film, I am Kalam which won hearts across the globe. The moving story of a young boy with a hunger for knowledge highlighted the importance of education.
Films, even though in an entertaining way, do help in promoting education, adding to it new methods and innovative ideas. Be it passing down the message of ‘Education is for all’, showing different ways to teaching or changing predominant thinking, such films inspire lives and bring about a wave of change.