Just watched “The Giver” – if you’re out of the loop, this is the latest of the tween-teen best-selling books to make it to the big screen and features a fantastic cast. (Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift)
It’s a teen story about personal discovery and the way in which we choose to engage our world, it opens up so much discussion. I would recommend parents taking their 13 and up kids to see this, it’s cinematic beauty and style is amazing for the metaphor it supports and although a bit ‘slow’ in the pace, it kept my interest.
It’s a film appropriate for further discussion, as it raises some big-picture concepts about life, society and God that pre-teens and teens are wrestling with already.
Remember, media can be an amazing tool for us as parents to use in assessing and shaping our kids values and perceptions of morality. Pre-teens are constantly absorbing information and ideas, and making the effort to participate in that dialogue is an essential role we should play in assisting in their maturation emotionally and socially.
A few great ideas/concepts to consider after watching;
What is so significant about our Free Will ? Why would God allow us to keep it , when we so obviously consistently make ‘bad choices’ ?
Can mankind choose to change itself or are we as a species….doomed to repeat our mistakes?
Are emotions safe ? Why or why not ?
Can we experience life without emotion or is it a dangerous distraction for a Christian?
Parents, I am so grateful for movies and media that can open the doors to our kid’s hearts. Recognize it as a rare and wonderful moment in time when we can push “pause” on our crazy busy lives to just enjoy being together as a family. It’s important to let our children share freely what they think afterwards… and for us to practice “listening”, instead of us always being the ‘talker or teacher.
Pre-teens need to process ideas… to learn to form their own ‘filter’ for truth. To begin to think critically and to internally separate the good from the bad. Media is especially adept at combining awesome themes like redemption and love with moral crud. Often it will interweave senseless violence, inappropriate language and sexuality with beautiful life concepts, fulfillment and gorgeous people, suggesting to our kids, they can’t be truly happy without sinning. Our kids need to grow in their understanding of what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong and why.
I rate the “The Giver” a 3.5 out of 5 stars for entertainment appeal and a solid 5 out of 5 for being a rich discussion starter!
For more movie and media reviews, check out Plugged In – MOVIE REVIEW from Focus on the Family!