A well-made film can compress years of life experiences into a couple of hours. It can transport one to another place in time, revealing the world through completely foreign eyes. It allows us to walk in another's shoes, to see and feel the world as another would. In the hands of a capable filmmaker, one suspends belief, temporarily, and opens the mind to other realities, new truths. When such a tool is taken seriously and used judiciously, powerful learning and communication takes place.
UMC.org selects films to review that are worth your time to go see. Films are viewed through a kind of spiritual lens, as opposed to focusing on the art form itself, we look for what the works seem to be saying about relationships, values and the human condition. Each review includes a study guide, complete with questions and activities for further exploration. These study guides are developed for small groups.
The Pursuit of Happyness
Production Company: Columbia Pictures
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Cast: Will Smith, Jaden Pinkett Smith, Thandie Newton
Rating: PG-13 for some mild language
We love to cheer for the underdog. Whether it's the scrawniest guy scoring the winning touchdown or the shy little girl winning the spelling bee, we love to see someone triumph over adversity to become a hero. Some, like firemen or soldiers, are natural heroes we can't help but cheer on. But what about the everyday heroes--average folks struggling to pay the rent and care for their children--who are all around us? In The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays just such a hero-a good man trying to make an honest living and keep his family together during hard times. Will he beat the odds and find happiness?
The answers are worth pursuing. [more]