M.C. asks from Pleasanton, CA on September 17, 2009
Are These Appropriate Movies for a 13 Year Old to Watch at School?
My child came home with a permission slip for the following movies this school year. My child does not want to watch anything with violence or graphic portrails of injuries/accidents. I respect that competely, and only want her to watch movies that are appropriate for her age and our family decisions. I have not seen these movies myself, so any feedback about these is welcome.
The Old Man and the Sea (1990) not rated
The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) not rated
Anne Frank Remembered (1990) Rated PG
Glory (1989) Rated R
Liberty! The American Revolution Documentary (1997) not rated
the series "Roots" not rated
Tom Sawyer (1973) Rated G
1 mom found this helpful
M.E. answers from San Francisco on September 19, 2009
I looked up Glory on Netflix and it has a parent note of "iffy for ages 15+" There was no rating on Roots, but since it deals with slavery I would guess that there are some beatings, however, it was shown on TV in 1977. Good-luck.
V.M. answers from San Francisco on September 18, 2009
I watched Glory in the th grade and was very tramatized! It is very gory and a lot of death...I think that I would skip that one. Roots might be another one worth wating on...great display of history...but maybe a little to much for a year old...that is just my opionion.
P.M. answers from San Francisco on September 18, 2009
As I recall, "Roots" has some scenes that are pretty intense with slaves being beaten and such. I don't know about any of the others.
A.M. answers from San Francisco on September 18, 2009
Some people have a much stronger reaction to visual images and need to protect themselves from strong, violent images. When my daughter was a high school freshman, her history teacher showed documentaries about the genocide in Rowanda and civil war in El Salvador. Afterwards, she cried herself to sleep for a week. At 19, she still has nightmares. Talk to your daughter's teacher (don't let the teacher minimize your concerns!) and ask about specific imagery in Anne Frank Remembered. If actual images of death camps, holocaust victims, and near-dead survivors are shown, you might want to opt out of that one. I think your daughter would be fine with Old Man and the Sea, Liberty, and Tom Sawyer. The Diary of Anne Frank contains disturbing ideas, but not so much actual violence -- it is an older movie, in black and white. Glory is known for its gore and violence; it is rated R for that reason -- I would take a pass on that one. Roots is an older mini (1970's) series, created for television. Although it addresses slavery and all its injustices, the visual images are probably not as strong.
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D.J. answers from San Francisco on September 18, 2009
I'd just like to make a comment about how sad it is that children are watching, rather than reading. When you create the images in your own mind, rather than seeing images Hollywood created, your own mind draws on it's experiences and references, and things are alot less frightening. There is also time to process difficult ideas and concepts.
Would the school allow her to read instead? With all the concerns about screen time's effect on brain development, I am dissapointed to see so many full length features and miniseries listed. Are they doing anything else in history?
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L.P. answers from Sacramento on September 18, 2009
These movies ALL sound like movies for a history class? I have seen most of them & would say that IF (BIG IF) there was anything at all voilent in them, it's not the type of violence you are talking about. This violence would be considered historically correct. Like the violence that Anne Frank had to deal with was the Nazi's!!! True facts, not gore. Same with "Roots", if there is ANY violence, it's the beating of slaves etc.....True to history....
These movies ARE NOT the type of movies that are made to scare people or anything...just to educate people on the true violence of HISTORY...
But if you are still concerned go rent them. Preview them at home with your daughter, so she is prepared. No harm in watching them more than once...maybe you'll learn something together.....
W.V. answers from Sacramento on September 18, 2009
Our school often has kids watch a movie like these after they have read the novel as a class.
S.K. answers from Sacramento on September 18, 2009
While I understand the desire for to not want to watch movies with violence, these historical movies do not fall into that type of catagory. The movies are relevant to our history and it's important for students to "see" history so that it can become a part of them. There is violence in several of these movies. For example Roots is a movie about slavery, and they don't hold back. Does she have an aversion to violent movies when it comes to "non-school" movies? If not, then I think it's more that she doesn't want to watch them because she thinks she can do something else with her friends. You should sign the permission slip and try to talk with her about the importance of the story's that are being portrayed in these movies.
J.S. answers from San Francisco on September 18, 2009
How wonderful for your daughter to have a teacher that is trying to make history come alive for the students. Movies are a great way to do this. Sometimes textbooks can gloss over things and the kids get a dry, sanitized, and boring view of important events in our past.
The Old Man and the Sea is perfectly fine. Nothing I can remember that would be scary or disturbing to a young teen.
The Anne Frank movies are obviously about a disturbing subject, but it is sooooo important for kids to know about what happened. Your daughter may really like these since Anne was a young girl at the time of her ordeal. Nothing in these is graphic or bloody.
Glory has some quite violent and bloody battle scenes. The truth is war involves blood and people die. This is something we all must face. Our country's freedom was not won by civil discussions over pint, but through the painful, and often deadly sacrifices of our ancestors. She may not be ready for the blood in this one, but the history lesson is invaluable.
I've never seen Liberty, but usually documentaries are not high on blood. You could ask the teacher about this one.
Roots, again is about a disturbing time in our history, but there really isn't anything graphic or bloody in it. Since it was made for tv before they allowed such things to be shown in prime time, it is pretty tame image-wise.
This version of Tom Sawyer must be pretty tame for a G rating. The book is full of the prevailing racial term of the era (N word), but they must have cut all of that out of the story to get to G. Unfortunate. Again, I think it is important for our kids to learn about these things. It is a great way to open discussions about what we believe and how things can change/improve over time if people are brave enough to stand against the norm.
When my oldest daughter was in 7th grade they watched an R rated (for violence) movie about the Roman Empire. The teacher was more than willing to let my daughter skip it, but felt it was important to show the other side of the Romans. The state approved text books went on and on about all the positive influences Roman society, politics, and government had on history, but completely ignored the cruelty, violence, and excess that accompanied it. Do we really want our kids to idolize a society that showed up in the 1000s to watch their fellow humans be eating alive by lions, or fight each other to the death for entertainment? My daughter chose to watch the movie, but was allowed to walk out whenever she chose. Afterward, she said she never left the room, but did close her eyes a few times. However, the great discussions we had later about what happened in that time in history were amazing. This film really made her think. And afterall, isn't that what education is all about. :o)
B.H. answers from Sacramento on September 18, 2009
I'm going to say that these movies are all perfectly fine for your 13 year old to watch. When I was 13 my class watched Tom Sawyer and Diary of Anne Frank. We read the books first and the movie was the reward for finishing the book. It helped us better piece the story together from the book. We read The Old Man and Sea, there wasn't a movie available yet.
A.S. answers from San Francisco on September 18, 2009
13 is an appropriate age to start getting an "education" about the world we live in, and sometimes the truth is not nice. Its a matter of weather you want her to grow up ignorant and only seeing what she wants to see or educated. Your decision. Unfortunately, many people in our country shelter their children and that is why a lot of our younger generation is not involved in current events or changing the world. It scares me that these young adults will be voting soon. History will repeat itself especially if we allow our children to remain ignorant of it just because they want to watch something "fun". That's life, sometimes the best lessons are the hardest to watch/learn.