Questions that might help us to get more out of film watching

The great thing about engaging with stories and watching films is that we all respond to them in different ways. We all have to employ our imagination if any film is to be more than simply a documentary.

Our imagination taps into our memories and our emotions and so we find ourselves responding to films – sometimes very powerfully. Taking time to reflect on our responses is a helpful exercise that can provide insights into the way we behave and think as we do. It also offers the opportunity to consider how ‘my view’ of the world helps me to interpret what I see and feel and where God might fit in. Essentially as well as enjoyment, entertainment and challenge, films offer the opportunity for us to learn about ourselves, others and God. So, let’s watch films and learn – together

  1. What image from the film sticks most strongly in your mind? Why do you think this image is more memorable than any other?
  2. How did the film make you feel?
  3. How did the characters make you feel? Why do you think you responded to them in this way? Was there a character you strongly identified with – why do you think this was?
  4. For you, what was the film about?
  5. Were there any ethical or moral dimensions that the film explored? If so, how well do you think the film did this, what was message the Director trying to get across and did you agree with their viewpoint? Why, or why not?
  6. Was there any spiritual content, either directly or through metaphor (visual or spoken) in the film? If so, how well do you think the film did this, what message do you think the was Director trying to get across and did you agree with her/his viewpoint? Why, or why not?
  7. What new things did you discover from the film? Did you learn anything about yourself?
  8. How did the film depict the world and the people in it? Was this something you could identify with? How real did it seem to you – why?
  9. Has the film changed your understanding of God or some aspect of theology, church or relationships in any way – how?
  10. Did the Director’s use colours to reinforce parts of the narratives or the characters in the film? Did the use of lighting or music in the film add or detract to the film – why and how?

Here's a quote from Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant’s Child:

“I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”

These 'six honest serving-men' generate questions at the drop of a hat!

  • What is the last film you saw?
  • Why did you see it?
  • When did you see it?
  • How did you see it?
  • Where did you see it?
  • Who were you with? Or…
  • What did you see?
  • Why did you respond as you did?
  • When did the story first grip you?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Where did the story take you?
  • Who inspired you most?