It was once part of the GCSE Religious Studies course that you had to watch numerous films with topical content and answer questions about them and how the media portrays religion. It’s why most RS teachers know every word to Bruce Almighty (references to the power of God, Jesus’ miracles, evil and suffering, parting of the Red Sea, prayer) and have a DVD collection in the garage with the Miracle Maker (Jesus’ life in plasticine), East is East (community cohesion, Islam, homosexuality, family, food laws, arranged marriage, mosque), the Vicar of Dibley (Anglicanism, community, prayer, sermons) and Bend it Like Beckham (family, sexism, Sikhism, community cohesion) using up box space.
Even though you’ll no longer have to write about specific films or TV programmes in a Religious Studies exam, you can still watch films to remind you about key topics such euthanasia, abortion, the environment, animal welfare, the death penalty, war, relationships, and gender equality, and anything which helps you remember Christianity and Islam better. Below are some ideas to get you started (most films suitable for 15 years and older):
Hacksaw Ridge – pacifism, war, Seventh Day Adventism
Miracles from Heaven – miracles, family
Tree of Life – prayer, suffering, family
Mary Magdalene – Jesus’ life, women in biblical times
Amazing Grace – about Wilberforce a strong Christian and man who fought to abolish the slave trade
Exodus: Gods and Kings – about Moses OR The Prince of Egypt – about Moses
I Can Only Imagine – prayer, family, story about famous Christian song, faith
Noah – Noah’s Ark,
Dead Man Walking, The Life of David Gale, Monster’s Ball – all about the death penalty
Blackfish, The Cove, Food Inc, Earthlings, Vanishing of the Bees – all about animal rights
Me Before You, The Sea Inside, Million Dollar Baby, A Short Stay in Switzerland – euthanasia
Juno, Cider House Rules, Revolutionary Road, Dirty Dancing, Obvious Child – abortion
All ABout My Mother, Carol, Beautiful Thing, The Times of Harvey Milk – gay rights
This is just a drop in the ocean of what’s available. Check out Netflix, Amazon Prime, and TV channels like BBC, ITV and Channel 4, for their documentaries on crime and punishment, war and conflict, and moral issues too.