Philosophy in Film

Enrichment Course
Course Name: Philosophy in Film
Instructor: Cummings
Course Description/Curriculum: Philosophy in Film will look at 10 movies made within the last
30 years that contain plot premises that strongly lend themselves to philosophical discussions
on morality, truth, love, honesty, faith, etc. The students will gather to watch films as a group,
posing questions to each other during the film, and reflecting as a group after to share thoughts
and ask questions to foster group discussion. Each film will be related to a text students are
assigned to read before watching the film. Texts will include excerpts from major ancient and
modern philosophers, such as Plato, Descartes & Heidigger.
The purpose of this class would be to foster an environment where students can pair an
interest in movies with a desire for an elevated conversation about the philosophy imbedded in
those films. Each class would be open to students, teachers, administrators and parents if they
would like to join.
Tentative Films and Content Focus:
Minority Report (2002) –Free Will & Civil Rights
Phenomenon (1996) – Relativism & Being Misunderstood
The Truman Show (1998) – Perception vs. Reality & Personal Captivity
Contact (1997) – Faith, both secular and religious.
iRobot (2004) – The Human Condition & What defines Life?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Love & Love Lost
The Dark Knight (2008) – Virtue & the Nature of Evil
Thank You for Smoking (2005) – Truth & Morals
a. This one is rated R, so permission slips necessary
9. Groundhogs Day (1993) – Consequences & Responsibility
10. Dead Poets Society (1989) – Personal Goals vs. Perception of Success
Time: Wednesdays (starting 10/7) 3:30-5:30
Place: E105