Choose One Movie
Hollywood Film Activity: One Flew Over the Cuckoos’ Nest (1975 Drama; Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher; 2 hrs, 16 min). This Academy Award winning film is about an ex-prisoner who rallies his fellow patients in a state hospital. The questions below are derived from this film.
- Describe some of the violations of human rights and abuses of power that are depicted in this film.
- Given what you have learned about psychiatric treatment, is this film accurate? Was it accurate when the film was released in 1975?
- Is Randle P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) mentally ill? Why or why not?
- Is it ever ethical to treat someone who refuses treatment? If yes, in what circumstances? If yes, who should have the power to make the decision?
Hollywood Film Activity: The Hours (2002 Drama; Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep; 1 hr, 56 min). Based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by Michael Cunningham, this film focuses on the interwoven stories of three women living in three different places during three different eras. The questions below are derived from this film.
- Discuss how depression and suicide shape the lives of each of the three central characters: Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman), Laura Brown (Julianne Moore), and Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep). What experiences do these women share in common?
- One explanation for why depression is much more prevalent in women than men is that societal gender roles restrict women’s ability to feel in control of their own lives. Discuss to what extent societal gender roles during the three time periods shown in the film (Sussex in 1923, Los Angeles in 1951, and New York in 2001) affected the choices made by the three main characters.
- Did you feel any hope by the end of this film, or only despair? Explain.