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Playlist: Imagining a better world

Dana Sutherland  |  26 May 2020

Exploring how we can build a more just world in our relationships with each other and creation.

Film: Freedom Writers (2007)

This was a very influential film for me as a young writer, showing me how writing can be used as a way to make a difference in the world. The story follows a high school English teacher, Erin, who is teaching a class of academically unmotivated, and racially divided teenagers amid gang violence in California. Erin invests her own money and time to teach her students not only how to express themselves and their hardships through writing, but also how to get along as peers and eventually, as friends. 

Film: The Lorax (2012)

Based on Dr Seuss’ book, The Lorax is a cautionary tale about environmental destruction, deepening our understanding of the role we can play collectively and individually to preserve our natural environment. The story teaches people of all ages the importance of investing our time into taking care of our earth in order to preserve it for the future rather than ‘chopping (the trees) as fast as you please’. The story tells us how humans can either plague or preserve the planet, because ‘unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.’

Film: A Walk to Remember (2002)

Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, A Walk to Remember reminds us that our duty is not only to love others, but also to accept love, even if we think we are undeserving. The relationship between the film’s main characters, Landon and Jamie, reminds us how more optimistically we see the world through love. Landon learns to be more selfless through his relationship with Jamie. Her example of kindness and forgiveness are passed onto Landon, as by the end of the story he admits, ‘She taught me everything, about life, hope and the journey ahead.’ Jamie perfectly captures Corinthians 13: 4-8, ‘Love is patient, love is kind… It always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres…’ Ultimately, the story shows us the positive impact we can have on other people by projecting love into the world in all that we do.

Dana is a member of our young writers community.

See Gaming the Gospels: My Garden of Eden for another way of Imagining a Better World.


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