I walked into my French class a few weeks ago to a pleasant surprise. For the following week we would be watching the movie La Grande Séduction (Seducing Dr. Lewis). The movie was in French and was the story of a small village in Canada that is desperately in need of a doctor. In this comedy, the village of 200 tries to lure a doctor to move to their town. Though most of us were excited about this opportunity to ‘not learn anything’ the true purpose of watching the movie was to develop an understanding of French culture globally, while practicing our comprehension skills of French.
Over the course of the week, the change in the class room was tangible. Each of us students went from staring at the screen, pretending to watch the movie, to becoming enraptured in the story plot, laughing along with the crazy plans and feeling the hardship of the town’s people.
I have always found different cultures fascinating and can never pass up the opportunity to watch a movie. This combination proved to be perfect for me. Though I often question my ability to speak and understand French, watching this movie was surprisingly reassuring, as I picked up on several phrases.
So, dear reader, if you are ever looking to explore a different culture, but don’t have the convenience to travel to the location, I would suggest picking up a movie and enjoying that culture while staying in your comfy home.
Suggestions for movies:
Les Choristes (The Choir) – This is the inspirational story of a school of ‘difficult students’ whose lives change thanks to a choir teacher who discovers the potential of his students (French).
Paa (Father) – This Hindi (Indian) movie portrays a child with the rare genetic disease progeria, who tries to reunite his separated parents. Though comical in the beginning it is a drama that is heart-warming and very emotional.
Both these films are enjoyable to watch and introduce you to the culture of these countries. While the food, language, and cultural customs may seem foreign and unique, both are relatable as they focus on problems faced by anyone around the world like isolation, love, and passion. Next time you find yourself looking for something exciting on a Friday night, invite some friends, get buttery, delicious popcorn, and rent a movie that will take you cultural rollercoaster.