Philomena

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I saw the movie Philomena and was blown away by it. The story is powerful, the acting strong, and the direction very subtle. In the movie the main character, Philomena, is sent to a home for unwed mothers run by Catholic nuns who arrange for her son to be adopted by an American family.  50 years later she decides to search for her son. Having gone to Catholic elementary and secondary school, I was quite interested in the “Catholic aspect” of the movie That aside, I felt that the movie addressed so many issues which I think that we should be addressing in schools. As Clive noted in an earlier blog post about relevance, including popular culture in our curriculum can allow for discussion of issues which students face. This movie raises questions about power (institutional power), societal norms, religion, and relationships. When do we forgive and forget? When do condemn and expose? When should we question the power of religion? When should we keep a secret? Who has the right to decide what is “right”? After the movie my book club  and I had a spirited discussion of some of the dilemmas that Philomena faced, the decisions that the nuns made (in whose interests were they made), and the relationship between Philomena and the journalist who helped her.  I highly recommend the movie (it requires two hankies) and would love to hear your views of the movie. Should a movie like this be included in our secondary school curriculum? Clare

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