Cinema On Education

Each word needs to be thoughtfully chosen to make the criteria of curriculum making. Logics of world need to be translated into a form of ideas which make a plan for the logics of curriculum. 

Cinema may provide teachers with explicit scenes of (wholistic) dimensions of education. It is not necessary to mention that cinema is an indispensable dimension of all sorts of cognitive skills.

Needless to say that cinema may be used as one of the perfect tools for manifesting students’ narratives, their familial issues, teachers’ school-related problems, social problematic relationships among learners ranging from sexual harassment, violence to bullying,and their competitive nature and so on.  Up to this moment, the power of cinema to explain explicitly and sociologically has been neglected by educionalists or theorising academicians who try to educate a generation of qualified teachers. Simply to speak, teacher education systems may use both movie documentaries or those cinema films made about pupils or teachers. Hereby, I try to watch and select those films which may have  educational concepts and values for informing teachers and school managers to be aware of the mentioned problems. The selection of these movies are completely arbitrary,however, I have struggled to personally analyse them before pinpointing them as educationally valuable. Nevertheless, every teacher may choose her or his own films or documentaries to recommend or watch with his or her own colleagues.

400 coups is a masterpiece directed by François Truffaut in 1959 manifesting a boy, a teenager, with seemingly well-positioned in a French Parisian society. Apart from the new wave in French cinema which was , as far as I know, started off by Truffaut, the movie includes scenes of classroom in which obedience is the only rule.The emotional irritation of pupils can not be considered,let alone the methodology of teaching, as a proper way of correcting misbehaviours. I strongly recommend watching this classic movie to newly educated teachers.

Homework (1989)

Homework ( Mashgh-e Shab , the original title) is a documentary representing the familial, social, educational and psychological problems of primary students living in Iran. The general question around which the scenario moves is about the (un)neccessity of doing homework by primary students and the role of families on helping their children realizing their homework. The interesting point about the movie is that it directly goes to the heart of educational system, although objectively.

Families are more worried about doing the homework than children themselves (Abbas kiarostami, Homework). He applies an open-structured interview for collecting the ideas, feelings of primary students  in regard to doing their homework, and also their parents’educational level. The primary students are invited one-by-one to a room equipped with a table and a camera, are questioned about the reasons of not doing their homework.  Kiarostami cordially and smoothly starts off his interview as the below:

  1. Why don’t you do your homework? Your parents and teachers believe.
  2. When you don’t do your homework, do your parents punish you? And how?
  3. When you do your homework completely well, do your parents motivate and encourage you?
  4. What is your favourite cartoon?
  5. Who helps you in doing your homework?
  6. How does your parent react to your score?
  7. Do you know, what is punishment?
  8. Is there any argument at home?
  9. What do you like doing?
  10. Who is more passionate, your brother or sister?
  11. Did you watch the television program last night?

According to the 856 questionnaires distributed to families, the movie crew received filled-in 526 questionnaires showing a painful fact that 37% of parents could not help their children do their homework due to lack of knowledge on the topics of homework, work-related tiredness, and lack of time. Resorting to the answers given to questionnaires, many parents had asked the teachers of their children to remove the burden of helping their children on doing their homework.

A few dialogues come below:

Kiarostami: How do your parents punish you?

Child: by whipping!

K: how do you like being motivated?

C: by cookies

K: how many?

C: 2

K: Why didn’t you do your homework?

C: We went to my uncle’s.

K: when you go to parties, you don’t do your homework? Right?

C: Yes

K: if you become a father, will you hit your child?

C: smiles

For watching the whole movie with an English Subtitle , you can click on the link below:


A Scene from Movie Gabbeh by Mohsen Makhmalbaf (1996)

Gabbeh  (1996) is an Iranian romantic movie directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf showing a couple who are about to wash a gabbeh, a traditional Iranian carpet, in a river. The movie is a magnificent depiction of how love, nature and people are woven together. There is a series of scenes in the movie which illustrate a teacher who applies the colours in nature to teach the colours meaning. Educationally, the colours in nature are the greatest resource for enlarging and differentiating colours which should not be neglected in esthetical life of a learner and will-be-an-artist individual. Here comes a part from the movie: Gabbeh.

Ali Konkoori (Masoud Asadollahi,1973)

On behalf of his wife’s will, Jalalfar decides to send his son Ali to university to study medicine. Ali attends university exams for the fifth time, and due to his psychological situation, he is taken to a madhouse for check-up. Her doctor says Ali is suffering from lack of affection, and Jalalfar recommends choosing a wife for Ali.

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