I LOVE movies. I really do. But unfortunately, the golden age of fabulous movies with Jimmy Stewart, Greer Garson, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire is over. It is becoming harder and harder to find movies with content where I enjoy ALL of it.
Which begs the question: Edited and filtered movies. To see or not to see?
I have one relative I dearly love who scoffs every time I talk about watching an edited movie. Plus, she has a crazy look she gives me, like I've grown an extra head or two and wonders what the big deal is. Her kids are much younger than mine are and she feels very comfortable letting them watch shows I hesitate on. ( I answer her here.)
I have another lovely relative who feels uncomfortable watching an edited movie when the movie does not match her beliefs. "When you rent a movie and filter it, the revenue still goes to that production company, and they are still getting money to make movies that aren't uplifting. You vote with your dollars."
She's got an excellent point.
We choose to watch edited movies, but with a few caveats. My kids would seriously be out of the social scene if they didn't watch any of the latest superhero movies. But I feel much more comfortable when they watch edited versions of the movie. While I don't want my kids to be overly sheltered, I also don't want them to be desensitized to violence, sex and profanity. That is why I love edited movies. I think it straddles living in the real world and also being careful with what you put in your mind.
But an edited movie is not a free pass to watch anything and everything.
Just because something is edited does not automatically make it worth watching. What is the underlying message? Are we better because we watched it? Even if we are watching it just for fun, does it undermine the values we are trying to live by and teach our family?
Once I wanted to watch a movie that was getting a lot of buzz. It was up for an Academy Award, and everyone was saying how much they LOVED it. I was told there was some sexual content, so I got an edited version to try it out.
It was awful. The entire movie was all about the sexual exploits of the main character. Much of the conversation focused on sex. Yes, the sex scene was taken out and there was no swearing, but for me, the content was completely inappropriate.
I use edited movies like they do in school. Did any of you watch edited versions of "Glory" in 8th grade history like I did, or "Schindler's List" in high school as some of my friends did? "Glory" is a great movie that teaches wonderful lessons and touches your soul, but with gratuitous violence in a few places. The editing takes out the gratuitous parts and you are left with a great movie. I also like it for fun movies like "The Princess Bride", where I just don't want to hear the occasional swearing. (Not trying to be a prude, I just really don't like it.)
When the content is mature, or a character makes a bad choice in a movie, our family routinely pauses the movie and talks about the consequences of the choice, or we make sure that the subject matter is understood in a non-scary, non-shaming or threatening way. But we always make sure that the underlying message is discussed and that it supports principles our family values.
What I want to stress in this post, is that movies can be a teaching tool (for good or bad), as well as entertainment. And if something is edited, that still does not mean that it is necessarily appropriate. When we take every occasion, even a fun family movie night, to teach our kids and be deliberate with what we consume, there will be a difference in the character of our children.
In my next post, I will share the tools I use when picking out quality movies as well the filtering services I use for my family.
Oh, and if you haven't signed up for our free family friendly movie list yet, you can access it here. It will give you a movie for every week of the year, plus some sick days! ;)
Community Question: I still don't know what to do about supporting Hollywood's editing-needed-movies with my dollars, and it bothers me. I do try to attend the movie theater and pay full price when an especially morally excellent movie comes out, but other than that, I am stuck. Got any good ideas?
Hi, I'm Jen! I adore chocolate, I'd rather read than clean my house, and I haven't seen my abs in I-don't-know-how-long. But I love my husband and kids to death and try to Raise The Good within myself and my family by making wise and uplifting media choices and having a deliberate family culture. You are probably doing the same thing. Let's share what works with each other!
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