Movies about education, the best teachers of cinema


Nothing like the cinema to put ourselves in the shoes of those who dedicate their lives to guiding the footsteps of the young. Here is a list of films on education that celebrate the profession of teachers and that show us that the good teacher is the one whose you teach go far beyond the classroom.

Chain of favors (Dir.ª Mimi Leder, 2000)

movies about education

A film that today is in the shade the abuse allegations against Kevin Spacey, Chain of favours challenges us from a classroom to think of a way to change the world. And who manages to devise a quite original way of doing it is his student Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment), by creating a chain of disinterested favors that becomes a whole social movement. Here, Spacey plays one of the most inadvertently inspiring teachers – after all, not just anyone is capable of inspiring a student to invite a homeless man into their home for one night.

Karate Kid (Dir. John Avildsen, 1984)

movies about education

In case anyone doubted it, this is not the story of an adolescent karate fighter who wins a tournament, indeed, it is not even the story of Daniel San: this is rather the story of a teacher and his student, of the connection between them. karate Kid It would not have been the same without Mr. Miyagi and his teachings, which will stay with us for life: the first of them, without a doubt, has to do with humility and generosity in the heart of any warrior. The second was indisputably that of how to “wash and wax.”

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Detachment (Dir. Tony Kaye, 2011)

movies about education

Adrien Brody is one of those great actors who, unfortunately, are not exactly characterized by their good decisions when choosing many of their projects. It is a shame, therefore, that the tapes in which it does go unnoticed and do not have the notoriety they deserve. Except for The pianist and his work with Wes Anderson, of course. That’s the case with this one, one of the best movies about education. It tells the story of a substitute teacher (substitutes again) who, while walking down the street, meets a teenage prostitute, whom he picks up and gives asylum in his tiny apartment.

The connection they establish breaks the golden rule of Brody’s character. never get emotionally involved with the young people you guide, always stay on the sidelines. Who would have thought: getting emotionally involved and caring for someone may be exactly what you needed to fix your haunted past.

School of Rock (Dir. Richard Linklater, 2003)

movies about education

The history of cinema shows us that the best teachers are substitute teachers. They are fish out of water that are beyond educational conventions. And there may never have been a fish more out of water than the character of Jack Black. He plays a frustrated rocker who impersonates his best friend at school. Yet there, inside the classroom, he bumps into the ideal rock band. His talented elementary school students, who seem to have been born playing instruments and singing. It will not be the most versed professor, nor a wise academic of literature, but Jack Black will undoubtedly remain forever in our heads as the most “punk rock” professor and cool of the cinema. Not to mention that it is one of Richard Linklater’s most beloved – and peculiar – films.

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Habit change 2 (Dir. Bill Duke, 1993)

movies about education

The best movies about education and teachers are those in which we can see both parties learn and transform thanks to the other. The teacher thanks to the students and the students thanks to the teacher. That is the main feature of the adventures of “Sister Mary Clarence” (Whoopie Goldberg). She is a former Las Vegas singer who, to escape her criminal ex-lover, must pretend that she is a nun in a convent. This music lover manages to bring life and flavor to the church choir during her stay in the first installment. But he will have to face a bigger challenge in this second film: teenagers. Or worse yet: hopeless and therefore quite cynical teenagers. Don’t worry, nothing that is not fixed through music, a little bit of “Joyful, joyful”And a couple of hip hop steps.

A detective in kindergarten (Dir. Ivan Reitman, 1990)

Nothing is more moving in education films than the presence of an imposing and muscular action hero accompanied by little ones who demand that he take naps and carry them in his arms. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays John Kimble, a Los Angeles detective who takes a position as a substitute teacher in a kindergarten as part of an undercover scheme to catch a drug dealer. Now that the film has its sequel – without Arnie, but with Dolph Lundgren in the title role – it is the perfect opportunity to relive this 90s classic for its box office success that, although it does not offer us a deep reflection on the role of the teacher, it is without a doubt a fun adventure.

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Conduct (Dir. Ernesto Daranas, 2014)

This Cuban film narrates the intimate connection that an elementary school teacher (Alina Rodríguez) has with the nightmare of the class, that problem boy to which other less sensitive teachers would surely exile. This child (Armando Valdés Freye) has a life framed in violence and family dysfunction, despite being only eleven years old. However, Carmela, his teacher, is able to see in him a compassion and generosity that, unfortunately, have nothing to do with grades and other “indicators” of a student’s good performance. The film shows how, despite the goodwill of a teacher, the rigid and cold educational system in which schools are enrolled often gets in the way of the true role of the teacher.

You might also be interested in: The best films about World War II

The Society of Dead Poets (Dir. Peter Weir, 1989)

Robin Williams could easily be considered the greatest teacher in films about education: his presence was always a combination of charisma, rebellion, empathy and wisdom (see patch Adams or Indomitable mind). This film is no exception: here he plays Professor John Keating, who teaches literature at Welton Academy and is practically the teacher we all want to have: inspiring, optimistic, revolutionary, critical but empathetic. The one that opens the world to us without having to leave our own mind and teaches us that ideas can change the world. Set in the late 1950s, this film shows how young minds are inspired to think for themselves.

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Mona Lisa’s smile (Dir. Mike Newell, 2003)

In this film, Julia Roberts teaches her students much more than Art History. His lesson is much more revolutionary: do not allow yourself to be pigeonholed by conventions or by what society expects of you. Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Stiles and Ginnifer Goodwin complete the curriculum of students from a conservative private university, who in the mid-1950s are torn between ambition for growth and good manners, between the fifties stereotype of “the ideal woman” and their own dreams and ideals. In the end, the best lesson is this: “Not everyone who walks wandering is lost.” Ah! And also that memorizing the textbook does not mean that you know what you are talking about.

Triumph of Life (Dir. Stephen Herek, 1995)

Teaching music seems easy, but it takes a great vocation, knowledge and sensitivity to make teenagers pay attention. How about a teacher capable of associating rock n ‘roll with Beethoven’s classic melodies in the classroom? This is the case with Mr. Holland (Richard Dreyfuss), a musician who decides to start teaching at a high school as a mere temporary way to subsist while composing his own music. However, life tends to put us in the right place, even in spite of ourselves: it happens that Mr. Holland has another gift, that of spreading the love of music to young people, for which, teaching, that work that should have been Being only temporary, it becomes your true masterpiece. Tears guaranteed at the end.

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Wanting to succeed (Dir. Ramón Menéndez, 1988)

An education film that tells the true story of teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos), a math teacher who inspired unselfish kids (and some delinquents) to get their best. The film won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Picture in 1988, and Edward James Olmos received an Oscar nomination for his performance. Without a doubt, one of the great classics in films about education.

To the teacher, with love (Dir. James Clavell, 1967)

Mark Thackeray (Sidney Poitier), is an engineer who arrives at a school in London full of privileged and disobedient students. However, he begins to win them over when, through honesty, he teaches them about respecting others and themselves. Like other movies on education, this is one that should be seen by students and teachers alike.

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Lean on me (Dir. John G. Avildsen, 1989)

Morgan Freeman plays the principal of a school who is tasked with saving the institution before it is taken over by the state. The school is populated by unruly and rude youth who will learn (through a tough and relentless strategy) that true values ​​can present themselves in many forms.

Duel of the Titans (Dir. Boaz Yakin, 2000)

Sometimes a “classroom” is a sports field. In this film, Denzel Washington plays a football coach who teaches us that character and belief in oneself can conquer all adversities. With mettle and dedication, this teacher will inspire the boys on his team and turn them into something truly memorable.

The entry Films about education, the best film teachers was first published in Cinema PREMIERE.



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