A selection of recommended films to educate children and adolescents in values and ideas.
Cinema, as well as an art, is a tool that allows us to create and visualize unimaginable realities of all kinds, but also realities that are close to us and that touch us all. In this article we want to talk to you about education, and link this topic with cinema.
For this reason, here you will find 12 educational films for young people, which can help us work on different aspects of education with them, either as teachers, mothers, fathers, therapists, etc.
They are films well valued by critics, which provide a diversity of values and which invite reflection on various aspects of reality, even beyond education.
12 Recommended Educational Movies for Kids and Teens
This is a selection of several educational films for young people, with the explanation of their plot and some hints of why they are interesting to watch, especially with the young population.
As we will see, they are films that approach education from different perspectives, and that highlight values that can be very educational, such as self-improvement, struggle and perseverance, among others.
1. Unforgettable Lessons (1988)
In this film the protagonist is Jaime Escalante, a mathematics teacher at a Los Angeles high school.
His students do not have too many aspirations in life beyond getting a job that allows them to survive, but thanks to Jaime they will begin to overcome a series of challenges and show that they have great potential.
2. Forbidden Education (2012)
“Forbidden Education” is another of the best educational films for young people.
It is a documentary film that analyzes, from a critical perspective, which educational models are currently being carried out. It is actually a criticism that highlights the deficiencies of the current system and that proposes a new educational model.
3. The tongue of butterflies (1999)
The film is set in 1936. Its protagonists are Don Gregorio and Moncho. Don Gregorio teaches Moncho everything he knows about nature, literature and women. However, a conflict begins when they attack Don Gregorio for considering himself an enemy of the fascist regime, which causes a gap to arise between the two characters.
4. The class (2008)
The original title of this French film is “Entre les murs”. The film tells the story of François, a French teacher at a troubled high school in a slum of a French city.
During the film we see François’s relationship with his students, as well as his struggle to stimulate their thinking. However, the different cultures we encounter in the classroom, as well as the diverse attitudes of the students, will cause conflicts to arise throughout the film.
5. The Wave (2008)
Another of the best educational films for young people, highly recommended to see, is “La ola”. The story takes place in Germany, where a high school teacher, Rainer Wenger, decides to carry out an experiment with his class, gradually establishing a totalitarian regime that ends up out of control.
It is a film that will make us reflect – and a lot – about politics, dictatorships, norms, control, abuse of power, fear, etc.
6. Not one less (1999)
With a score of 7.7 on FilmAffinity, “Not One Less” is considered another of the great educational films for young people. It tells the story, set in China, of Wei Minzhi, a 13-year-old girl who lives in the mountains, and who is forced to replace her teacher for a month.
He offers him the “reward” of 10 pieces of chalk if he succeeds in getting no student to drop out of school. Wei must face Zhang, a student he wishes to drop out of.
7. The Miracle of Ana Sullivan (1962)
This time we bring you a much older film, which tells a beautiful story that values perseverance, effort and perseverance. It explains the story of Ana Sullivan, a woman who is hired to educate Helen, a deafblind girl.
It is a very serious case, but we see how Helen manages to improve Ana’s skills little by little, as well as her quality of life, in addition to breaking the isolation in which she lives.
8. Everything begins today (1999)
“Today it all starts”, another of the best educational films for young people because of the values it transmits of improvement and effort. It tells the story of Daniel, a director of a nursery school in a poor neighborhood in northern France.
One day a mother with problems abandons her children there, and Daniel tries to get the neighbors to help him; However, as a result, he is questioned as a teacher, and we see how he takes precedence over the situation.
9. The four hundred blows (1959)
Another of the educational films for young people, also French, is this one by François Truffaut. It tells the story of Antoine, a 14-year-old boy with a very demanding teacher.
The plot becomes complicated when Antoine sees his mother being unfaithful to his father, and as a result of this he enters a spiral of lies, deciding to escape with his friend René to see the sea.
10. Shinomi’s School (1955)
In this case we bring you a film that addresses, among others, the issue of disability. Yamamoto is a professor of psychology at the university, father of two children. One of his children has cerebral palsy and is bullied.
So Yamamoto and Fumiko, his wife, decide to open a special education school. The film, in addition to giving visibility and normalization to disability, talks about overcoming and fighting.
11. The Club of Dead Poets (1989)
Another classic, and also considered one of the best educational films for young people, is “The Club of Dead Poets” by Peter Weir.
The film tells the story of Mr. Keating, an eccentric teacher with unconventional methods from a private school in New England. Thanks to Mr. Keating, your students will discover the power of poetry and language, as well as the importance of living in the here and now.
12. The Boys in the Choir (2004)
Finally, the last of the 12 recommended educational films that we will see here is this one by Christophe Barratier. The film shows us the story of Clément, a music teacher who starts working as an on-call teacher at a juvenile re-education boarding school.
There he observes the repressive system to which minors are subjected. Clément begins with them a task that will go beyond the purely academic, through music and choral, which will end up changing their lives completely.