Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Golden Compass: media literacy approach

Sr. Rose has some observations and suggestions for parents and others who are concerned about the anti-Christian, anti-Catholic (anti-God) bent of the fantasy book on which the upcoming movie is based. Sr. Rose takes it from a media literacy standpoint, which is not the same as a catechetical standpoint. Media literacy is actually a very demanding approach, because it requires intensive reflection and conversation. Of course, that yields a lot more fruit than simply boycotting a production tout court.
Speaking for myself, I saw the trailer for "The Golden Compass" this summer when I went to see "Harry Potter." The trailer alone filled me with a sense of foreboding that this movie had some kind of vicious streak in it. There were "churchly" type villains in liturgical and clerical attire, who used "church" language like "heresy." (Turns out, even worse, that the "churchly" group of villains are called "The Magisterium"!)
As Sr. Rose keeps saying, we need to know what we're dealing with here, and prepare ourselves to engage with it intelligently.


ANawtyMouser said...

I think that if we are diligent with our children and help them understand the difference between fantasy and real, it is very helpful in dealing with situations like this. I have not seen the trailer yet but I still think that open and honest communication is the key when dealing with young adults and children.

klaire said...

This may me a great resource. I have not listened or read it all, but I did hear Steve Woods on EWTN while I was driving last week and was capitvated as to what he was saying about this movie. Parents beware. I couldn't imagne any Catholic allowing their kids to see this movie.

Here's the link of which I have no connection. I post only because I was most impressed by what I heard.

(If it doens't work, google Steve Woods and the Golden Compass)

xaipe said...

Parents can certainly forbid their children from seeing this movie or reading the books, but they can't keep the children from breathing the atmosphere the movie may engender. That is why parents need to be even more informed about the content of the movie, how it differs from the books, what the "attraction" is, and then how to discuss all of the above with children in an age-appropriate manner. This trains the kids in critical thinking, alerts them to the fact that many people in our society do not share our faith in Jesus or love for the Church, and gives them skills for navigating in that society with confidence, knowing that the challenges raised by this sort of "unfaith" attitude can be answered openly and boldly.

a_inkwell said...

I read Sr. Rose's post...I loved it...I even tracked down a co-worker with a copy of the trilogy in order to read the book before seeing the film. I am a firm believer in media literacy and the importance of engaging our culture where it is. A good friend of mine used to say, "That is what we as Catholics do; we take something, we bless it, and we make it holy." How wonderful would it be if families were given the great opportunity to sit down and talk about this film!! To sit down and talk at all!!!