Re: [xmca] lions for lambs / chat of movie

From: Cathrene Connery <cconnery who-is-at>
Date: Fri Nov 30 2007 - 10:02:56 PST

Hi David,
I also had a chance to see the film and while Redford's delivery did
seem a bit pedantic, I respect him as a film maker and actor. He
actively choose to make the movie and act in it when he could have
devoted his time to many other projects. I appreciate his involvement
as a political contribution to raising consciousness through his art.

On the surface, the film seems a bit shallow and moves somewhat slowly.
However, when analyzing the role that language and literacy play,
Redford is right on. The cast of characters highlights the superficial
use of propaganda in Cruise's role as a "new Republican", the interface
between a journalist's personal and professional aspirations in Streep's
representation as an aging feminist responsible for the care of her
mother while working as an outsider in a male-dominated, sexist field,
and the utopic power of words professors might employ / arouse in their
students as cultural gatekeepers or bridgewalkers whose ideological
fingerprints have lasting imprints on the future through the actions of
their students, etc. etc. The best performance was executed by the
professor's former students who served as military personnel. I think
it was very deliberate that these characters were the few on the cast
that were developed three dimensionally in a short period of time.

I intend on using the work as a means to present the notion of critical
literacy for my teacher ed students.

One last comment from a semiotic perspective: My friend, with whom I
watched the film, came of age during the early 60's, marched in the
civil rights movement, and engaged in some work with Paulo Freire. Her
father served in WWII. She was amazed that there were actual photographs
of current politicians posed with Cruise's character used as props in
the movie. This represented an interesting exercise of first amendment
rights, especially when considering what Congress is trying to do this
week to ban the use of languages other than English in the United States.

As a child who came of age in the 70's-80's this was an interesting
cultural-historical detail to note between my friend and I. When I was
in school, we never got past WWII because, in my estimation, our society
was still trying to grapple with the horror of the assassinations of
King, Civil Rights Leaders, and the Kennedy Brothers. Fortunately, I
had mentors that passed the historical memory on, however, many of my
colleagues of the same age never developed or were forces to cultivate
an understanding of civil rights. As my generation of scholars assumes
the torch so to speak, I have major concerns about how the culture of
silence, apathy and fear has and will impact our society,government,
education, and especially, the definition of childhood. It further
underscores the need for academics to educate the current generation as
Redford was attempting to do through highligting intersections of race,
class, gender, and education.

Just a few thoughts,

David Preiss wrote:
> Dear XMCARs,
> Just saw yesterday Lions for Lambs. I would love to hear what people
> might say here about the movie.
> For what is worth, I found it more urgent than good as a movie, and a
> bit stereotypical (as regards the portrait of the professor and the
> politician).
> However, I liked the portrait of the student as representative of not
> only the new generations of students in North America but as well here
> in Chile. That kind of intelligent /informed/ hypocritical / passive
> attitude seems to be the most characteristic feature of contemporary
> college students and I wonder how it connects to the fact that these
> guys were raised in a post-cold war, internet based, highly
> interconnected but parochial world.
> And, coming back to the movie, I really liked the critical view of the
> role played by the press in the iraqi war, which I deem highly
> responsible of the non-critical context that drove the USA to the
> situation where it stands now. Do we have a different press now?
> Any thoughts?
> David Preiss, Ph.D.
> Subdirector de Extensión y Comunicaciones
> Escuela de Psicología
> Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
> Av Vicuña Mackenna 4860
> Macul, Santiago
> Chile
> Fono: 3544605
> Fax: 3544844
> e-mail:
> web personal:
> web institucional:
> _______________________________________________
> xmca mailing list

Dr. M. Cathrene Connery
Assistant Professor of Education
Ithaca College
xmca mailing list
Received on Fri Nov 30 10:07 PST 2007

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