Social Distancing Movies: Week 4
We get it – cabin fever is getting to you. And the kids are pushing back about home schooling. Here are some movies designed to provide educational benefits along with solid moral and ethical lessons.
Charlotte’s Web: Wilbur the pig is destined to become bacon until he is befriended by Charlotte, an unusually clever spider. Charlotte’s plan saves Wilbur’s life, but spiders don’t live very long…This tender children’s classic takes on friendship, loyalty, death and hope in a way that can be understood even by young children. We’re partial to the 1973 animated version, but there’s also a live action remake. (G, Grade: B+)
Amazing Grace: One of our favorite historical movies, this inspiring production tells the story of William Wilberforce and his decades-long fight to end slavery in the British Empire. Beautifully shot and overflowing with messages of persistence, sacrifice, resilience, and and integrity, Amazing Grace is educational in the broadest possible sense. (PG, Grade: A)
Lincoln: The second movie in our abolition double-header, this biopic of Honest Abe focuses on his efforts to pass the Thirteenth Amendment before the end of the Civil War. The political backroom fights are fascinating and the depiction of men willing to fight for their principles is uplifting. (PG-13 , Grade: A-)
A Hidden Life: We’re leaning into history again but this time we’re looking at World War II. When Austria is incorporated into Nazi Germany, a simple Austrian farmer refuses to swear allegiance to Hitler. The consequences are, predictably, lethal. For older teens, this movie provides a riveting look at integrity and moral courage. (PG-13, Grade: A+)
Invictus: We’re beginning our sports double-header with the inspiring story behind the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, believes his divided country needs to unite under a sports team – the Springboks. Two problems: the Spingboks aren’t playing well and black South Africans loathe them. A great real life story that carries messages of reconciliation, mercy, persistence, patriotism, and empathy. (PG-13, Grade: A-)
Chariots of Fire: Another historical sports movie, Chariots of Fire follows two British runners on a quest for Olympic gold in 1924. Harold Abrahams is fighting back against anti-Semitism and Eric Liddell is running to praise God before heading off to a mission in China. A beautiful film with an iconic soundtrack and themes of hard work, integrity, and duty. (PG, Grade: B+)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Four children go through the back of a wardrobe and discover a magical hidden kingdom known as Narnia. The land is under the spell of the White Witch and her reign can only be ended by humans – with the help of Aslan the lion. This movie is a powerful Christian allegory of forgiveness, redemption, love, and loyalty, but it can be enjoyed by viewers of any (or no) religious persuasion. (PG, Grade: A+)
Wondering where to find these movies? Most of the DVDs can be ordered online but if you want to stream them, we recommend using justwatch.com to find out where they are streaming in your jurisdiction.