Picture from The Bridge on the River Kwai
Overall B+

During WWII, the Japanese forced Allied POWs to build a railroad, which included constructing a bridge on the River Kwai. This movie focuses on the clash between the military ethics of a British Colonel, the cultural expectations of a Japanese commander, and a plot to sabotage the structure.

Violence C+
Sexual Content B+
Profanity A
Substance Use B

Talk to your kids about…

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Even though Colonel Nicholson and Colonel Saito are military leaders from opposing sides, what traits do they have in common? How do their characters illustrate the effectiveness of using force or persuasion?

Can you identify some of the personal agendas of the various characters? How did perusing those motivations prevent them from seeing the situation as a whole? What techniques did the moviemakers use that allowed you to feel sympathy sometimes, and abhorrence at other times, for each of their causes?

For more information about the POW’s, the railway, and the bridge, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Railway