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 Cat Kim,, and Matt Baumback,

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 | Chris Weitz)
Curriculum Use: Spanish 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

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 | 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, 123 min., color, In Italian with English subtitles, PG | Giuseppe Tornatore)
Curriculum Use: Italian 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 | 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

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

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 moving masterpiece based on one of the most important works in American litera¬ture 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

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