In this discussion, pick ONE film to write about and answer questions below the film descriptions. If it has been a while since you have seen these films, they are available through online sources and various rental outlets. Although I have provided links to some of the films (links provided on “Instructions” page in note above), I cannot guarantee they are still operable. If the links do not work, try your own online sources.

  • Dances with Wolves (1990). Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is assigned to the Western frontier on his own request after an act of bravery. He finds himself at an abandoned outpost. At first he maintains strict order using the methods and practices taught to him by the military, but as the film progresses, he makes friends with a nearby Native American tribe, and his perceptions of the military, the frontier, and Native Americans change dramatically.
  • Working Girl  (1988). Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) works as a secretary for a large firm involved in acquiring media corporations such as radio and television. When her boss has a skiing accident, Tess gets a chance to use her own ideas and research, ideas that she has been keeping within herself for years – ideas that are arguably better, and more insightful into mass media practices, than her boss’s ideas were.
  • Schindler’s List (1993). In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis. He initially was motivated by profit, but as the war progressed he began to sympathize with his Jewish workers and attempted to save them. He was credited with saving over 1000 Jews from extermination. (Based on a true story.)
  • Gran Torino (2008). Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood), a recently widowed Korean War veteran alienated from his family and angry at the world. Walt’s young neighbor, an Asian American, is pressured into stealing Walt’s prized 1972 Ford Gran Torino by his cousin for his initiation into a gang. Walt thwarts the theft and subsequently develops a relationship with the boy and his family.

In your initial post, answer the following questions:

  1. Describe the specific theories, assumptions, or “schools of thought” that the characters in the film have. How do their schools of thought differ?
  2. How do the main characters change over the course of a film? How do their goals or desires change? Do they see themselves differently by the end of the film?
  3. Which reflective theory from the course best illustrates the process the main characters go through during the film? How so?
  4. Would you say that the main characters evolved or grew after learning something that was new, or a new approach, a new theory, or a new understanding of their place in the world?

I suggest that you refrain from reiterating the plot line. Rather, stay focused on character changes and the influences on those changes. Be sure to refer to the readings; use proper citations!