Engaging with Film – Key to Symbols


We rate Damaris Film Blog discussion guides according to how accessible the particular film is:
Level 1 These discussion guides will be suitable for individuals or groups just beginning to engage with films in this way, or who would rather watch and think about more straightforward films.
Level 2 These discussion guides will be suitable for slightly more experienced individuals or groups, who may be interested in thinking about more complex films.
Level 3 These discussion guides will be suitable for experienced individuals or groups, who may be interested in engaging with more challenging films, which might in some instances have stronger content.

Types of Question

The team at Damaris developed a six-fold conceptual framework for people to use as they interact with films:
Questions about the aesthetic dimension Aesthetic
A consideration of the film as a piece of art. Here we look at different aspects of the film- making, such as storyline, scripting, characterisation, cinematography, editing, music and design. We ask which aspects stand out as particularly impressive or unimpressive, and how they fit together as a whole.
Questions about the emotional dimension Emotional
A consideration of the impact of the film on the viewer. Here we look at how the film makes us feel, and what it causes us to think about.
Questions about the intellectual dimension Intellectual
A consideration of the ideas explored in the film. Here we ask what beliefs, values and attitudes are expressed in the film about subjects such as reality, humanity, knowledge, wisdom and the deep desires and longings of the human heart.
Questions about the moral dimension Moral
A consideration of the moral values expressed and explored in the film. Here we look at the way in which the film advocates and/or critiques different moral values – either directly through the storyline and characterisation or indirectly through the moral implications of the ideas it explores.
Questions about the spiritual dimension Spiritual
Bringing together the aesthetic, emotional, intellectual and moral aspects to consider the impact of the film upon one's beliefs, attitudes and actions. (We find that this definition of spirituality, as the unity of one's beliefs, attitudes and actions, is fully socially inclusive as it fits with all different faith and non-faith perspectives). Here we consider the relationship between the film as a whole and one's spirituality as a whole and invite people to consider what impact the engagement with the film might have on their own beliefs, attitudes and actions.
Questions suitable for children Suitable for children
Questions marked with this icon are suitable for use as a family, or with a children's group. You may, of course, need to adapt the language, depending on the age of the children.