Looking Beyond the Screen

Waiting for the Metro, the topic of conversation is not what one might expect from a group of college students.   If an eavesdropper were to lean in, she would hear discussion about the social construct of popular media. Perhaps the clandestine listener would hear our concern regarding the proliferation of text messaging and our disappointment surrounding the inability of young people to engage in interpersonal interaction. These topics, as well as many others, were addressed in the movie, Men, Women and Children, shown in a theater near the Chinatown/Gallery Place Metro stop.

A few friends and I recently learned that the American University library provides free tickets to advanced screenings of soon-to-be-released movies. Although the location and time of this movie made it inconvenient to attend, this was an opportunity that I did not want to pass up. Little did I know that being present at this film would prove to be far more educational than a typical Monday night in my dorm.

Walking out of the movie I felt a sense of awe, a renewed sense of wonder at our existence and our place in the universe. A recurring message in the movie was the interdependence and interconnectedness of communities. While following numerous storylines, the movie emphasized the necessity of kindness and forgiveness.

For me, emerging from movie theaters, be that blinking from sunlight or slipping into darkness, has taken on a new form. I have begun to view films as art rather than simply entertainment. I now find myself thinking critically about what I witnessed. It is exciting to enter into new dialogues that bring meaning and thought to my well-loved pastime of watching movies.

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