Movies are a great way to provide students with a cultural experience that supports global competence development. Provided that the activity is embedded as a (formal or informal) part of a program, or at least followed by some form of after talk, debate and/or reflection. At Zuyd UAS the academies of Hotel Management and International Business joined forces to offer students a free art house movie, followed by an after talk by an expert and an informal get–together. In a second case, the movie was part of an elective program where the students watched the movie and wrote a review about it including a personal reflection.
Beginner: The student is aware of cultural specific or intercultural dimensions through embodied human interactions in a movie.
Advanced: The student is able to process the movie experience in a personal reflection, linking the message of the movie to their own experience.
This activity can be targeted to all kind of different groups, from primary school until institutes of higher education. In this particular case, the target audience were students in higher education.
Global Minds at the Movies
A team of staff and students selects a movie together with the programmer of the local movie theatre. The movie theatre designs a flyer and puts the screening info on their website. Within the university, the students are invited to register. An experts is invited for the aftertalk. This can be a resident of the country were the movie was shot, or an expert related to the topic of the movie (e.g. human trafficking). Important conditions: the school has to fund the tickets and (in our case) a token for a drink. The theatre promotes the screening on their website so that local residents can also attend. This creates a nice mix of generations in the audience. Make sure the expert speaker is instructed well and has seen the movie beforehand, so that the aftertalk is tailormade and relevant.
As part of an elective:
In this case, the movie the Farewell was screened to students from an elective program at a hotel management school. The movie is about a Chinese-American girl stuck between two cultures. It is enriching on both the Chinese culture, but also about the issues of bi-cultural children. After the movie, a Chinese colleague was invited to talk about her own challenges in navigating between the Chinese and Dutch cultures
The Global Minds at the Movies series is considered a social and informal activity. Hence, no assessment is attached. In the case of the elective program, students were asked to write a review. The students’ review was assessed with a pass/fail. The rubric of this review is available on request.
The movie can be anything between 60 and even 190 minutes. The after talk is usually around 20 minutes (30 including Q&A). It is possible to extend the activity with a dedicated discussion or debate to allow more active involvement of the student audience. In this case the activity could take up to a whole day.
See picture of flyer above.
Global Minds at the Movies took a while to land in the student community. Due to positive word of mouth, an increasing number of students, but also staff members attends the movie nights. Obviously, movies do not always appeal to all tastes, but generally students are positively surprised by art movies they would not necessarily watch themselves. The after talk is greatly appreciated. The speakers, talking from their embodied experience add a dimension to the experience. There are always a lot of questions and there is a lively atmosphere in the theatre cafe afterwards. We always ask students for feedback to ensure constant improvement of the event.