DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
By: Ana Jekić, HR Business Partner, DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
In times like these, many of us lean towards looking for content to pass the time — reading books, bingeing on TV shows, taking myriad online classes, watching movies…
You’ve probably come across different film recommendations by now. Did you use any criteria to search films on Google other than the usual (psychological thrillers, comedies, etc.)? Can Google recognize them? In my experience, hardly. So, here’s a few tips to help you.
Below is an unconventional list of film recommendations, preceded by an unconventional introduction from the perspective of someone interested in psychology and very passionate about psychotherapy.
How we see things that are different or extraordinary, or that we disagree with, and how through real encounters with other individuals or groups we change and grow — that’s exactly what you’ll find out here.
“I don’t care what you think.”
“I would, but it’s not up to me, look at other people.”
I’m certain we’ve all uttered or at least thought something along similar lines. Of course, we don’t always have the time, patience, or motivation to focus on things that we don’t feel are significant at a given time. And that’s okay. Not every story is equally important, not every participant in a discussion is equally likable, we can’t be always in a good mood, willing to listen and respond, not every context is appropriate for every conversation…
Let’s explore a bit deeper.
Do we really always have a good excuse?
We exist only in relation to others. People couldn’t exist in isolation. We function on the principle of reciprocity, taking and giving, with each other, with other people, and in relation to our environment.
Every one of us has psychological boundaries that represent our physical space and unique experiences on the physical, emotional, and cognitive levels when encountering others. They are not always permanent and fixed — on the contrary.
At times boundaries can be too firm, there’s no exchange with others, no growth, no change — when nothing that others think can get to us and we don’t want to yield to anything that is new. At other times they are too permeable, there’s a lot of exchange — when everything that others think is important, we plunge into new experiences without considering our own needs.
Of course, saying no is preferable in some situations, when we perceive the other as toxic to us, just as easing up is when we’re creating art, for example.
How do we strike the right balance between giving and taking, how do we extract what is nurturing to us from interacting and then reciprocate? The key is to be aware of how we fine-tune our boundaries.
Fear usually appears when our boundaries are crossed by something, we feel is unfamiliar. We perceive it as a threat and reject it without consideration, without making room to learn about it. Another thing we can do is ask ourselves what makes us uncomfortable, how we feel this unease, and what it says about us, is there anything to gain from it, does it have a piece of something of our own?
When we encounter the unknown but non-toxic, we can also experiment, come closer, or completely move away. We test our boundaries. All the while, we look at how the other (someone or something different) is behaving in that experiment, and how our approaching or moving away is affecting its movements, and vice versa. We must keep in mind that all this takes place in the context of our environment, which is made up of social relations, beliefs, traditions, culture, and historical heritage. There’s a slew of factors that can make a difference in the experiment!
By experimenting, we can discover that change in ourselves can lead to change in our environment, and that change in the social context can affect us, sometimes bypassing our conscious will, it just happens.
Therein lies a plethora of benefits that new experiences can bring to all parties in a relationship.
Only where diversity is encountered there are change and growth. Here are some silver screen picks that demonstrate that.
1. Jojo Rabbit (2019)
A blend of comedy and drama. Towards the end of the war, a Nazi boy finds a Jewish girl in the attic of his house, where his mother hid her. A story from the perspective of a child that touches on pure and naive faith, confusion, and struggles with beliefs, “facts,” and experiences.
2. Wonder (2017)
A story of a boy who was born with facial deformity and starts school for the first time, in the fifth grade, after being home-schooled by his mother. A very moving, realistic story of love, friendship, caring, understanding, patience, and perseverance. “Be kind because everyone’s got their battles.If you really want to see what people are, all you have to do is look.”
3. Whiplash (2014)
An ambitious young man who plays drums wants a bright future for himself. Life takes him to a famous conductor who also becomes his mentor. The conductor mentors his orchestra by using unusual teaching methods, which are sadistic and quite terrifying. The young man tests the limits of his endurance, both physical and mental.
4. Life of Pie (2012)
A story about a boy from India embarking on a cargo ship to Canada with his family, together with animals from their zoo, in pursuit of a better life. In the middle of the night, a strong storm sinks the ship and the boy is the only survivor. In a lifeboat, his only company are a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a Bengal tiger. The dance on the line between life and death between the boy and the tiger is intense and extremely unusual.
5. Rust and Bone (2012)
A touching romantic drama about a boy driven by his primitive instincts and ambitions and a girl who has a terrible accident that results in her legs being amputated. They inspire an inner strength and desire to live in one another.
6. The Intouchables (2011)
A story based on real events. A wealthy quadriplegic hires a petty criminal as his personal assistant and guardian. The collision of different worlds gives birth to something entirely new, full of vibrancy and warmth.
7. Chocolate (2000)
A story about a woman who comes to a quiet French town with her daughter and opens a chocolate shop during Easter fasting. The town residents secretly want to try something new, but their faith and tradition are holding them back. The authoritative mayor further accentuates what is moral and what is sinful. The chocolate shop is across the way from the church and the battle begins.
8. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Edward Scissorhands lives in a castle not far from the town and he is the product of his inventor, who dies at the beginning of the movie. Instead of hands, Edward has scissors. He is soon found by a beautician who takes him to her house in the town, where she lives with her family. A true drama ensues, a dark fairy tale about love and society’s prejudices.
9. Awakening (1990)
A new doctor comes to a hospital in the Bronx for a research on a group of patients with long-term catatonia. By exploring the diagnosis and ways to help the patients, he starts to treat one of the patients with an experimental drug. The patient’s awakening helps the doctor to discover the sweet joys of life. A gentle and dramatic story of friendship, expectations, and acceptance of self.
10. 12 Angry Man (1957)
The film takes place in a jury room where a group of twelve people is deciding the fate of an underage boy. The boy stands accused of killing his father. The elaborate characters and the outstanding dialogues imbued with dynamics and excitement in the context of serving justice put forward a slew of questions for us to explore further — how do we know that something is true?
Let the art of film bring new experiences in you.