Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Film Class and Morals

This is one of those gray areas that can cause decisions that are neither good nor bad.  Imagine being in a film class where you have to watch films.  One week, the film is a movie with loads of language and nudity.  You are a believer who does not need nude images in your mind for the rest of your life.  What do you do?

I remember having to read graphic books in AP English my junior year.  I was only 16.  I read them so I could get the grade I needed.  Looking back, I realize that reading Woman Hollering Creek really did molest my mind.  I still remember "Never Marry a Mexican" like I read it today.  If I saw the 16-year-old me entering AP English, I'd simply have to ask what educational value there is in graphic sexual images and juvenile vocabulary.  For example, is there a book about women losing their innocence but using enough words that you know what happened,  not giving unnecessary details?  I actually thought Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston did a good job of that.  You know what the main character did but it was tasteful.  I wasn't watching it happen.  To a nerdier extent, I got only 5 or 6 books into the Wheel of Time series.  I knew when the characters "came of age" and needed no more than enough words to let me know what they did.

Even if a film or a book is a landmark in the history of films and books, that does not mean that it is worth reading or watching.  You can have a film about racism without filling it with immature riots, foul speech, and body parts.  West Side Story is such a film.  Remember the Titans is such a film.  Do the Right Thing may be considered "culturally relevant" but it's directed by a guy who did not mature past the age of 12.

I hope one day schools do assign books and films that have educational value.  They don't have to be clean of all impurities, but they don't have to be lewd either.

What say you?

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