14 June 2007

Films for Class

One of my quests lately is to find interesting films to show my classes, something that shows different concepts of "normal" and how those concepts clash. Two I've enjoyed are Not One Less and Fear and Trembling. Another one that I enjoyed but probably wouldn't use for class is Eve and the Fire Horse. But I've already blogged about that one.

Not One Less is about young girl who becomes a substitute teacher for a month in a rural Chinese village. The scene that I get a kick out of and want to use for class in one in which the students are figuring out how many bricks they have to move in order to earn money for bus fare. The students work together to solve the problem in a way that would seem totally out of place in an American classroom (or most European classrooms, for that matter).

Fear and Trembling is the story of a French woman who was born in Japan and left when she was five years old. As an adult, she returns to Japan and works in a large company. Her work experience reveals the cultural gulf between her and her co-workers and employers. This films careful pacing lulls you into thinking everything is going to be fine. In fact, emotions run high and her career goes in unexpected directions.

While these films are both great, I would like to find some that are not east/west comparisons. Any suggestions?


  1. Hi!
    I'm a friend of Lars', and I just stumbled across your blog 'cos you were the other person always leaving comments on his page, so I figured, why not?
    Just a footnote: the film about the girl in Japan is based on a novel by Amélie Nothomb, a belgian writer, which is called "Stupeur et Tremblements", and which was a huge succes in the french-speaking world (to the point that I even read it...) Just a bit of information that might interest you...

  2. Thanks for the tip. It's always good to meet a Lars friend, too.

    I actually heard about the film from a French student in class, which was excellent. It's part of the joy of teaching students with diverse national backgrounds that I get to hear about things they think are perfectly well known and I've never heard of!


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