Saturday, April 23, 2005

Seek opportunities to learn.

A few weeks ago, I got at email from Sandra who had seen Hotel Rwanda and was inspired to learn more about the genocide in Rwanda and about Africa in general. She writes:
I did the research online, and now it's been such an eye opening experience, I plan to take a new country and research its history, present and past, in order to become more aware of my history.
So I'd like to recommend this as something people can do: commit themselves to looking at documentaries and nonfiction movies and then following up on it studying about the issues, the people of that country. Then when some charity or organization needs help, people will be more aware of what they're giving to and why.

Thanks for the wonderful suggestion, Sandra! I saw Hotel Rwanda last night, and I understand your inspiration to learn more. It is truly an excellent film.

So next time you see an interesting film, or read a good book, or hear some engaging music, take the next step and learn more about the situations presented. For example,

* If you see Hotel Rwanda, learn more about the Crisis in Sudan and prevent another genocide and help those who are suffering now.

* If you see Ray, learn more about how artists like Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, and Ossie Davis contributed to the Civil Rights Movement in the US. These folks are wonderful reminders that we all can serve.

* If you see Million Dollar Baby, learn more about end of life planning and care, including living wills, advance directives, hospice, and palliative care. This is important for you and for those you love.

Art can be a wonderful guide to educating yourself about the things that interest you. Happy learning!


Steve said...

1.) "John Q" is really good- about health care...2.) "Dead Man Walking" on the death penalty....3.) the underrated "Three Kings" about Gulf War 1 are three that come to mind. Film is a great medium...

Karama said...

Great suggestions, Steve. Thanks! I think the key is to take it beyond the film. Sometimes it's hard to know which elements are true and which are fictionalized, so one has to go a little further to get "the real story."

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for spreading the word about Earth Day!

Jez Chill said...

I agree. Excellent suggestions. I also want to suggest HBO's Sometimes in April to supplement Hotel Rwanda. It gives an excellent, but different perspective.

Karama said...

It always pays to see another perspective. Thanks for the suggestion, Jez Chill! I've heard good things about Sometimes in April, but I haven't seen it yet (perhaps because I don't have cable). Do you know if/when it will be released on video? (I don't have a DVD player either. I'm a bit of a Luddite.)

As always, thanks for reading and offering your comments. I hope you'll visit again soon!