Welcome back to lesson two of Film School 2.0, a semi-regular feature chronicling the film education of my two aspiring film nerds: Miss J (7) and Miss S (10). More details about the girls can be found in their introductions post.
We are loosely following the superb 101 Movies to Watch Before You Grow Up, but also branch out to cover some of the newer releases that capture their imagination. How it works is that we watch a film together, after which I ask them a few questions about what they have seen. The conversations range from a couple of minutes to half hour discussions, so the answers below tend to be more a summary of their overall thoughts, rather than a full transcript, as that would often run for pages and pages.
In this lesson, Miss S (10) watched Hidden Figures.
I spent as much time watching her as I did the film, as considering some of the thematic issues the story covers, I was intrigued to see how it would land and whether she would be affected by it.
Quite understandably she was visibly shocked by some of the racism and sexism on display, so much so that we stopped the film a few times to talk about it. She simply couldn’t understand the segregation and almost lost it when the main character was not allowed to drink from the shared coffee pot. It just seemed incredulous to her. Hopefully, that means we are doing something right in the parenting department.
I was keen to get her reactions down, so straight after the film, we dived into the questions.
Here is what she thought of Hidden Figures.
What was the name of the film we watched today?
Errrrrm……..not sure, I don’t remember. Hidden Figures??? [after some sizeable hints from Daddy]
What did you think of it?
I liked it. Because it showed how people shouldn’t be racist to others.
Did you find the racism confronting? If so, how?
Yes. Especially how some people had to use different toilets and coffee pots – I really didn’t like it. The segregation was shocking; I just couldn’t believe it.
What did you think of the film?
It was good.
What did it teach you?
Not to be racist.
You don’t like maths, do you? Did it make you see maths in a different light? Did it make maths more interesting?
Errrm, kind of. Though I am not sure why. But i’m not sure maths could ever be interesting.
Who was your favourite character?
I liked the main lady. She stood up for herself. Stood up against racism and sexism. She showed that women can do what men can do. I liked that.
At the end of the film did you think the launch would be successful?
No, I thought it would fail. All the test flights had failed, so I thought this one would do as well. But I guess that is why they did the testing. But I did kind of think they would make it as that is what usually happens in movies, people don’t usually die.
How many stars out of five would you give it?
Would you watch it again? Does it make it onto the iPad?
Maybe. I think so, probably yes.
What other space films can you think off that you have seen?
Which did you prefer?
Not sure. I couldn’t choose between them.
Do you want to be an astronaut when you grow up?
No – because I am not great at maths! Plus it doesn’t really interest me. And I don’t think I am flexible enough, they look like they need to be bendy.
Do you think Miss J could watch the film?
Maybe, though it might be a bit slow for her.
Should it go into the 101 Movies Book?
Yes. Because it is a good movie. It has important messages, especially racism and sexism issues, but deals with them in an entertaining way.
Next up, Miss J watched Cars 3.
If you liked this, then try Film School 2.0: Introductions.