Film Arts In Education

The Cinema Arts Centre can offer a wide variety of film titles to educators across numerous subjects. See below for a list of titles and their associated curriculums. Availability is subject to change and numerous other titles not listed here can be available upon request. If you are interested in requesting a particular film, please email Matthew Roren at


This cheeky, coming-of-age comedy tells the story of 11-year-old Ricardo, who in 1981, struggles to fit in at his new school. With a flair for inventiveness and a desperate desire to impress his classmates, Ricardo weaves a web of untruths, which he must carefully maintain to keep up appearances for his new friends. But when reality finally catches up with him, Ricardo is forced to come to terms with his true self. (Canada, 2009, 102min., In French with English subtitles, NR | Dir. Ricardo Trogi)
Curriculum Use:
French Language


A Better Life looks at the relationship between undocumented immigrant Carlos Galindo (Mexican actor Demián Bichir) and his teenage son, Luis (José Julián). The ingle father struggles to keep his son away from pervasive gang culture. When Carlos’ truck is stolen, the father is powerless to turn to law enforcement, but the crisis brings him closer to his potentially wayward son. Beginning with a simple, fragile view of immigrant life, the film blossoms into a complex demonstration of what it takes to survive in this modern world. (USA, 2011, 98 min., color, English/Spanish, PG-13 | Dir. Chris Weitz)
Curriculum Use: Spanish Language

BEYOND SILENCE (Jenseits der Stille)

Since the earliest days in her childhood Lara has had a difficult but important task. Both her parents are deaf-mute and Lara has to translate from sign-language to the spoken word and vice versa when her parents want to communicate with other people. Getting older and more mature she becomes interested in music and starts to play clarinet very successfully. However, her parents are deaf, they cannot share Lara’s musical career. The day comes when Lara has to decide between her parents and her own ambitions. (Germany, 1996, 112min., In German with English subtitles, PG-13 | Dir. Caroline Link)
Curriculum Use:
German Language


Hailed as one of the world’s greatest films, this classic of Italian Neo-realistic Cinema reflects the conditions of Italian life in the years after World War II. When his bicycle is stolen, an impoverished Roman laborer faces the loss of his new job. With his young son, he searches the teeming city streets for the precious vehicle on which family survival now depends. Using nonprofessional actors and authentic outdoor settings, De Sica tells his story directly, with little adornment but with much compassion. Bicycle Thieves is an unforgettable portrait of postwar Rome and a changing father-son relationship. (Italy, 1948, 87min., In Italian with English subtitles, NR | Dir. Vittoria de Sica)
Curriculum Use:
Italian Language


Over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. Bully brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families.
Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, Bully opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. (USA, 2011, 99 min, color, English, PG-13 | Dir. Lee Hirsch)
Curriculum Use: Guidance


Eight-year-old Elsa and her mom Isabelle move in next to Julien (Michel Serrault), an ornery old entomologist with a lavish butterfly collection in his apartment. Her mother is hardly ever home, and Elsa soon grows attached to her neighbor. When Julien sets out on a weeklong hike in search of a rare and beautiful butterfly, Elsa hides herself in his car. Although Julien doesn’t want Elsa and her constant questions around, he begrudgingly accepts the situation and allows her to tag along with him on his expedition to the Alps, where she learns many things about the natural and the human world. (France, 2002, 85 min., color, In French with English subtitles, NR | Dir. Phillipe Muyl)
Curriculum Use: French Language


Carol, a Spanish-American twelve-year-old girl brought up in New York, travels with her mother to Spain for the first time in the turbulent spring of 1938, to meet her mother’s family. Separated from her father, a pilot in the International Brigades involved in the Spanish Civil War, whom she adores, her arrival in her mother’s native village transforms the secretive family environ­ment. Her innocent and rebellious nature drives her to oppose a conventional world new to her. Her friendship with Maruja, the village’s teacher, together with the lessons in life learnt from her grandfather and her love for local boy Tomiche will take her on an unforgettable and bittersweet journey into the world of adulthood. (Spain/Portugal, 2002, 103min., In Spanish with English subtitles, NR | Dir. Imanol Uribe)
Curriculum Use:
Spanish Language


Emilio is a normal Puerto Rican teenager who somehow finds himself being sent to the principal’s office every other week. He has a crush on Jacklynne the most popular girl in school so he decides to run for Student Council President in order to impress her. After announcing his candidacy Emilio discovers to his horror that Jacklynne herself will be running for office against him. Emotions fly high as campaign fever intensifies. Not wanting to lose his chance to win her heart Emilio devises a risky plan that could come to a disastrous end if the tyrannous school principal gets wind of his scheme. (Puerto Rico, 2006, 93min., In Spanish with English subtitles, PG | Dir. Jaime Vallés & Tony Vallés)
Curriculum Use:
Spanish Language


Set in a correctional house for wayward boys, the film charts the progress of new music teacher Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot), and his attempts to instill a little love and hope into his wayward students. The boys range from the socially awkward to outright bullies, and are always ready for a spot of stealing and fighting. Their teachers are largely apathetic and the school is ruled by the severe Rachin (Francois Berleand), a Head who fails to tolerate the most minor trouble. (France, 2004, 97 min., In French with English Subtitles, PG-13 | Dir. Christophe Barratier)
Curriculum Use: French Language


Cinema Paradiso is a fond reminiscence about a Sicilian village and the enormous impact of its only cinema on the lives of the town’s inhabitants during the 1940s and ’50s. When movie director Salvatore Di Vitto learns that his old friend Alfredo has died, his thoughts turn to his youth in his home town, where citizens never see an on-screen kiss because every movie is subject to the protective scissors of the local priest. Even so, the world comes alive for the film-struck young Salvatore at the Cinema Paradiso, and the projectionist Alfredo becomes companion, father figure and teacher whose enduring friendship has left a lasting legacy. (Italy/France, 1988, 155 min., color, In Italian with English subtitles, PG | Dir. Giuseppe Tornatore)
Curriculum Use: Italian Language


Take a classroom full of outspoken, multiethnic teens from a tough Parisian junior high school, none of them professional actors, add a real-life teacher trying to make a difference, and you’ve got Laurent Cantet’s utterly engrossing portrait of the new France. François Bégaudeau, from whose nonfiction account of teaching in just such a school the film is adapted, plays himself in this unsentimental, superior addition to the canon of classroom movies, set over the course of an academic year. (France, 2008, 128min., In French with English subtitles, PG-13 | Dir. Laurent Cantet)
Curriculum Use:
French Language


Elsa is an aspiring art historian. As she gently scrapes away at the ceiling of a chapel, long-hidden angels gradually surface into the light of day. Soon, another form of reality emerges from the shadows to cast a very different kind of light. Elsa’s husband, Michele, a partner in a shipping firm, abruptly informs her that he has been fired and they have to sell their beautiful apartment. Both of them set out to find work, but inevitably, husband and wife react to their new circumstances in quite different ways. When they move into a smaller and cheaper apartment, the schisms in their marriage begin to show. (Italy, 2007, 115 min., In Italian w/English subtitles, NR | Dir. Silvio Soldini)
Curriculum Use: Italian Language


In 2008, 37-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero was murdered in Patchogue by teenaged boys cruising the streets “beaner–hopping,” a term used to describe the ritual of attacking Latinos for sport. 17-year-old Jeffery Conroy was sentenced to 25-years behind bars, while the others got 5 to 8-years. Everyone said the problem was solved. Through honest interviews with family members on both sides, Jeffrey Conroy and the other teens raises the question: Were the teens deputized by the forces within their community to commit such a senseless act? Deputized explores the crime from a variety of perspectives, probing the lives of the victim, the boys and the socio-political conditions that brought them together. (USA, 2012, 86 min., color, English, NR | Dir. Susan Hagedorn & Amanda Zinoman)
Curriculum Use: Spanish Language, Social Studies, Political Science, Criminal Justice


In Golden Door (Nuovomondo), Emanuele Crialese creates a magnificent portrait of the risks taken by a family who uproot them¬selves in the early days of the 20th Century from their tiny Sicilian village in search of a better life. Salvatore (Vincenzo Amato) is determined to gamble the fate of his family by taking them to America. Crialese con¬trasts their fanciful fantasies of America as a land flowing with milk and 6-foot carrots with the challenging hardships of leaving their country, getting to the boat, the perils of passage, and finally the arrival at Ellis Island, the so-called “Golden Door.” (Italy, 2006, 118 min., color, Italian with English subtitles, PG-13 | Dir. Emanuele Crialese)
Curriculum Use: Italian Language


An intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot to her head when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund. (USA, 2015, 87 min., color, English, PG-13 | Dir. Davis Guggenheim)
Curriculum Use: Guidance, Political Science, World History


In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends-Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. (USA/Germany, 2016, 93 minutes, color, English, NR | Dir. Raoul Peck)
Curriculum Use: American History, Social Studies


The story of a long journey by two Guinean teenagers who have written a letter to European leaders on behalf of all the children of Africans. Yaguine and Fodè address their letter to the “members and leaders of Europe”, asking for support for schools, and health care in Africa. With the letter in their pocket, they hide in the cargo compartment of a plane in route to Brussels, and so begins their remarkable journey of hope. (Italy, 2012, 100 min., In Italian with English subtitles | Dir. Paolo Bianchini)
Curriculum Use: Italian Language

I’M NOT SCARED (lo non ho paura)

Haunting and suspenseful, I’m Not Scared tells the story of a boy whodiscovers a chilling secret just beneath thesurface of an idyllic rural landscape. Roamingthe countryside, nine-year-old Michelediscovers that a covered pit in an abandonedfarmyard hides Filippo, a boy about his age,clinging to life. Michele develops a relationshipwith the prisoner, but tells no one ofhis find. When Michele discovers that his own family may be involved, he must choose between loyalty and ethics, never able to forget that he holds the fate of a fragile human life in his hands. (Italy, 2003, 108min., In Italian with English subtitles, R | Dir. Gabriele Salvatores)
Curriculum Use: Italian Language


Eugenio Derbez plays a ladies’ man who lives in Acapulco, Mexico. One day a knock on his door drastically changes the course of his previously unattached life. An old fling shows up with a baby in her arms; she’s his daughter. The mother disappears leaving the baby behind with the eternal bachelor. In an attempt to track down her mother, he takes his daughter to Los Angeles despite not speaking a word of English. Then, she shows up out of the blue threatening to take the daughter he has raised for six years away from him. (Mexico, 2013, 122 min., Spanish/English, PG-13 | Dir. Eugenio Derbez)
Curriculum Use: Spanish Language


This is a surprising and remarkably clear film adaptation of a stunningly complex novel about the inner life of an Afghani-American novelist. His history journeys back and forth between time and place, between childhood and maturity, between the cultural melding and conflict of his Afghani and American cultures and his pressing need to finally confront his intensely haunting personal deep-seated childhood memories. In Afghanistan, Amir, the protagonist grows up in awe of an overpowering father and without a mother who died in giving him life. (US/Afghanistan, 2007, 122min., In English, Dari, Pushtu, Urdu, and Russian with English subtitles, PG-13 | Dir. Marc Forster)
Curriculum Use:


Roberto Benigni co-wrote and directed this darkly humorous film fable of an Italian-Jewish family swept up in the Holocaust. Good-natured Guido finds incomprehensible the growing list of discrimination practices against Jewish-Italians like himself. When the round-up finally occurs, Guido, his wife (who is not Jewish), and young son are deported. Guido and his son are assigned to a barracks where he uses his wildly inventive comic genius to shield his child from the truth and hopefully to survive. Like Chaplin, Benigni demonstrates the close links between humor and tragedy. (Italy, 1997, 116 min., color, Italian/German/English, PG-13 | Dir. Roberto Benigni)
Curriculum Use: Italian Language


The remarkable life of South African revolutionary, president and world icon Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba) takes center stage. Though he had humble beginnings as a herd boy in a rural village, Mandela as a lawyer became involved in the anti-apartheid movement and co-founded the African National Congress Youth League. His activities eventually led to his imprisonment on Robben Island from 1964 to 1990. In 1994, Mandela became the first president of democratic South Africa. (UK/South Africa, 2013, 141 min., PG-13 | Dir. Justin Chadwick)
Curriculum Use: Social Studies, World History, Political Science


In 1952, a young medical student and a biochemist from Argentina set off on a road trip across South America on a beaten- up motorcycle. The record of their trip might have disappeared into the ether if one of the riders departing on that fateful day hadn’t been the revolutionary icon, Ernesto “Che” Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal). Their simple goals were to enjoy themselves, and meet some girls along the way. As the trip unfolds, the boys discover more about themselves than they ever imagined possible. The trip winds down with the duo’s youthful folly acquiescing to adulthood, and the dawning realization of where they should head in life. (Argentina, 2004, 128 min., color, In Spanish with English subtitles, R | Dir. Walter Salles)
Curriculum Use: Spanish Language, Social Studies, World History


A handful of men set aside their differences to conquer one of Europe’s tallest mountains in this drama inspired by a true story. In 1936, Nazi Germany is looking to shore up its reputation, and after a pair of German climbers die in an effort to climb the Eiger in the Swiss Alps, the state is looking to find another group who can succeed. Toni Kurz and Andi Hinterstoisser are cocky mountaineers who “will scale anything that’s tall.” They can’t resist the chance to climb the unconquered 13,000-foot north face of the Eiger, “the death wall” and “the last problem of the Alps,” but they soon find themselves in greater danger than they could possibly imagine. (Germany, 2008, 126min., In German with English subtitles, NR | Dir. Philipp Stölzl)
Curriculum Use:
German Language


A moving masterpiece based on one of the most important works in American literature about two migrant worker friends searching for opportunities during the great depression and the moral impasses they face in their ever-changing environment. John Malkovich, Gary Sinise and Sherilyn Fenn shine in this contemporary remake of the beloved classic about a nomadic farm worker who looks after his dimwitted, gentle-giant friend. Based on Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck’s novella, this is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship. (USA, 1992, 115 min., English, PG-13 | Dir. Gary Sinise)
Curriculum Use: Literature


The year is 1944. The Spanish Civil War is over. In a remote rural area, a Fascist army battalion, led by the ruthless Captain Vidal, is hunting down the defeated Republican forces. Ofelia is a young girl who lives in a vivid world of books and dreams. Her widowed mother, Mercedes, has recently married Vidal, and is now pregnant with his child. Caught in a society torn between the oppressive Fascist dictatorship and the last gasps of Republicanism, Ofelia increasingly escapes into an elaborate fantasy world. Guillermo del Toro carefully builds to an unforgettable finale when Ofelia’s two universes come together and this little girl has to take a stand against Fascism. (Mexico, 2006, 118min., In Spanish with English subtitles, R | Dir. Guillermo del Toro)
Curriculum Use:
Spanish Language


Persepolis is the dazzling and moving animated adaptation of Marjane Satrapi’s acclaimed series of autobiographical graphic novels. Satrapi’s darkly humorous take on her experiences as a spirited young Muslim woman coming of age in Tehran – during the rule of the Shah, the Islamic Revolution, and the Iran-Iraq War – makes for a bracingly original story. We follow the misadventures of Marjane (Chiara Mastroianni) from mischievous little girl in Iran to rebellious teenager finding first love amid decadent anarchists in Vienna. The film then charts the young woman’s return to Iran, and finally her emigration to Paris. (Iran/France, 2007, 95min., In French with English subtitles, PG-13 | Dir. Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi)
Curriculum Use:
French Language, Social Studies


Julia Jarmond (Kristin Scott Thomas), an American journalist is commissioned to write an article about the notorious Vel d’Hiv round up of Jews, which took place in Paris, in 1942. She stumbles upon a family secret which will link her forever to the destiny of a young Jewish girl, Sarah. Julia learns that the apartment she and her husband Bertrand plan to move into was acquired by Bertrand’s family when its Jewish occupants were dispossessed and deported 60 years before. She resolves to find out what happened to the former occupants. The more Julia discovers about Sarah – the more she uncovers about Bertrand’s family, about France and, finally, herself. Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s bestselling novel. (France, 2010, 111 min., color, French/English, PG-13 | Dir. Gilles Paquet-Brenner)
Curriculum Use: French Language


A profoundly moving documentary that observes a group of immigrant students, ranging in age from 11 to 15, in a class at a secondary school in Paris designed to help them with their grasp of French. The pupils are from all over the world. Some are political refugees, others are escaping economic hardship, while others are simply hoping to start anew. Compassionate but never maudlin, School of Babel shines a light on the newest arrivals to an exceptionally diverse city, paying close attention to the formidable challenges they face. (France, 2013, 89 minutes, color, French/English | Dir. Julie Bertucelli)
Curriculum Use: French Language


Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, and their efforts culminated in President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (US, 2014, 128min., English, PG-13 | Dir. Ava DuVernay)
Curriculum Use: Social Studies, American History, Political Science


Single mom Rosario, now in her early twenties, is committed to providing a better life for her son Carlito. Unable to find work, she leaves Carlito, aged four, with her Mother and sets out on the terrifying journey across the US border. Every Sunday she speaks to Carlito from a payphone. At age nine, Carlito’s side of the story is triggered by the death of his grandmother and his determination to join his mom in L.A. Buoyed by her love, Carlito journeys across the border. Powering this Sundance Award-winning film are the deep love of a mother and son, as well as the tensions that pervade the lives of the Mexicans who enter the US without documentation. (Mexico, 2007, 109 min., color, in Spanish and English with subtitles | Dir. Patricia Riggen)
Curriculum Use:
Spanish Language