Movies of Moral Import?
Lisa Fullam September 27, 2012 - 11:28am
Today I distribute the first exam of the semester to my Fundamental Moral Theology students. A few years ago, I started using films for this exam: part of the task is to identify (clearly!) a moral question within the film. The moral question doesn't have to be an earth-shattering dilemma or a painful quandary, (though "Sophie's Choice" is on the list.) I've learned to avoid movies that present themselves as loaded with moral questions: after reading stacks of essays on "Batman. The Dark Knight," I took it off the list. So, I'm looking for recommendations. What are some movies that have sparked good conversation for you, caused you to re-think the morality of a situation, or just presented an interesting ethical issue? The moral question can be central to the film (as in "Dirty Pretty Things,") or it can be incidental to the larger plot.These films need not be classic or particularly high-brow. In fact, I like it if they're popular films (I added "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Friday Night Lights" this year, and last year's new addition was "True Grit.") Documentaries tend to be less appropriate for my purposes. Part of the aim of the exam is to encourage my students to begin to look at everything with the eyes of a moralist.Your ideas will shape my NetFlix queue...
About the Author
Lisa Fullam is associate professor of moral theology at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. She is the author of The Virtue of Humility: A Thomistic Apologetic (Edwin Mellen Press).