You have probably heard and read a lot of information on current events and topics such as #MeToo and #TimesUp, #SayHerName and Black Lives Matter, DACA and immigration, gender identity, gay marriage, etc. It can be overwhelming, as well as surprising, to know so many people groups are experiencing so much angst.
Keystone Counseling is committed to helping couples dive into deep topics in a healthy manner that is honest, vulnerable, and supportive to one another. These topics are hard for everyone, but that doesn’t mean they need to be avoided in order to keep the peace in your relationship.
In fact, it can be very connecting to explore what you each think and to figure out how to encourage one another as the world continually tackles these difficult issues.
Movies are a great way to open a dialogue on these topics. Below, we have assembled a list of guidelines and movies for you to have a movie night challenge.
Guidelines for Your Movie Night Challenge
1) Establish rules and goals
Maybe you want to expose yourself to a different point of view. Or maybe you want ideas on how to contribute to the cultural conversation going on around you at work.
Be clear what you want from this experience, even if it’s just some cuddle time with your partner.
An example of a rule might be: no matter what your internal reaction is, be respectful and keep negative comments to yourself.
2) Determine conversation expectations
Determine whether you are comfortable engaging in conversation after the movie, or whether it would be better at a different time. If you do want to engage, agree whether all discussion is at the end or if it’s better to pause a scene to discuss reactions.
Here is a list of prepared questions that might be helpful to get conversation going in a positive direction:
- What are your initial reactions to this film?
- What scenes if any surprised you?
- Whose story is told in this film? Whose story is not told?
- What was the motive in making this film?
- Can you relate to any of the characters in the film?
- Does this film relate to your own life experiences?
- Does this film relate to observations you’ve had in your life about others or the world around you?
- How does this film impact your view of others with this life experience?
3) Pick a movie you both agree on
If one of you can’t stand a romantic comedy, then it’s best to go for a more serious movie. If one of you loves history, then perhaps a movie based on historical events is the best choice. If you just can’t agree, then each of you choose two nominees, put titles in a hat and draw one out.
Here is a list of movies that are definitely worth a watch and do a great job hitting the current and more difficult topics. Use IMDB.com to read plots and check out ratings if either of you need more “data” to make a good choice for this exercise.
Based on History:
- Ghosts of Mississippi
- Hotel Rwanda
- The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
- Life is Beautiful
- Iron Jawed Angels
- Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- 12 Angry Men
- A Raisin in the Sun
- A Time to Kill
- North Country
- Corina, Corina
- The Intouchables
- The Help
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Mona Lisa Smile
- A Better Life
- In America
More Serious Dramas:
- Boys Don’t Cry
- The Normal Heart
- Erin Brockovich
- If These Walls Could Talk