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Focus on resource


This month’s focus looks at the relationship between Citizenship and film. Film has the potential to reach a huge audience. The month’s focus considers the place of films that have brought to life conflicts and issues that can sometimes seem distant or abstract. Film Education is delighted to be joined by…

Panel Discussion

Rebecca O'Brien

Rebecca O'Brien
Film Producer work includes The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Land And Freedom, My Name Is Joe

David Belton
David Belton
Film Producer and Documentary Maker work includes Shooting Dogs
Rose Chamberlain
Elaine Hakes
Education Officer Amnesty International UK


  • Question 1

    How have you used film to explore citizenship in your own context?


  • Question 2

    How has the use of film in the classroom enhanced pupil/student learning?


  • Question 3

    How can film be used to draw out issues that seem distant or abstract? What value do organisations such as Amnesty put on films that deal with Human Rights/Citizenship issues?


  • Question 4

    How important is the media and particularly film in developing awareness of the issues that your organisations deal with all the time?


  • Question 5

    How does film work to provide documentation of historical events? This can be problematic if filmmakers take a poetic license, what responsibility do filmmakers have in this regard? (And teachers if a film portrays inaccurate references/dates etc)


  • Question 6

    Is there any relationship between raising issues to a wider audience when it comes to the form (i.e. Documentary, Drama, TV Drama etc)?


The views expressed in these audio files are solely those of the speakers and not necessarily those of Film Education.

Related Resources

Freedom Writers

Still image of a woman standing in front of a blackboard from a film Freedom Writers

Relevance: The study guide is aimed at Teachers of English, Media and Film at Key Stages 3, 4 and AS & A2 level. Teachers of Citizenship, General Studies, History and Politics will also find them useful.
Certificate: 12
Synopsis: Freedom Writers is inspired by a true story and the diaries of real Long Beach teenagers after the L.A. riots.

Freedom Writers resource

Land and Freedom

Still image of a group of men fighting - red flag is held by one

Relevance: The study guide is aimed at Teachers of History at GCSE/A Level.
Certificate: 15
Synopsis: In 1936 David Carr, a young unemployed member of the Communist Party, decides to join in the struggle against fascism. The story is unraveled by his granddaughter as she goes through his artifacts after his death.

Land and Freedom study guide


Still image of woman smoking

Relevance: Media, Film, Art and Design and Citizenship students in the 14-19 sectors. Teachers of Citizenship will also find it useful.
Certificate: 12A
Synopsis: Persepolis is the poignant story of a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is through the eyes of precocious and outspoken nine year old Marjane that we see a people's hopes dashed as fundamentalists take power - forcing the veil on women and imprisoning thousands.

Persepolis resource

This Is England

Group of skin heads

Relevance: Teachers of AS/A2, Highers Media Studies/Film Studies, English, Politics, Citizenship
Certificate: 18
Synopsis: This Is England is the story of a summertime school holiday. It’s 1983 and school is out. 12-year-old Shaun is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands War. Over the course of the summer holiday he finds fresh male role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in. Here he meets Combo, an older, racist skinhead who has recently got out of prison. As Combo’s gang harass the local ethnic minorities, the course is set for a rite of passage that will hurl Shaun from innocence to experience.

This is England study guide

Shooting Dogs

Still image of a man with his hands on another man's shoulders from the film Shooting Dogs

Relevance: The study guide is aimed at Teachers of English, Film & Media, Citizenship, History, Politics at GCSE, AS/A2.
Certificate: 15
Synopsis: In just one hundred spring days in 1984 a small African country was crippled by bloody genocide as their fellow Hutu countrymen massacred one million Rwandan Tutsis. The barbarity was beyond imagination, but not beyond prevention. The UN was there with a watching brief but not seemingly able to intervene. And at the heart of it all a British priest (John Hurt) and a young teacher were forced to confront the depths of their faith, the limits of their courage and, ultimately, to make a choice, or remain with their people or to run away.

Shooting Dogs study guides:
Historical Background
, Colonialism

The Princes' Quest

Still image of man playing the piano wearing an armband with a yellow Star of David from the film The Pianist

Relevance: Teachers of Literacy, P.S.H.E. & Citizenship and Art & Design to those aged 7-11.
Certificate: U
Synopsis: Once upon a time there were two children brought up by the same woman. Azur, A blond, blue-eyed son of a nobleman and Asmar, the dark skinned and dark-eyed child of the nurse. As they grow up the nurse tells them many enchanting stories but their favourite is about the Djinn fairy waiting to be released from captivity by a good and heroic prince. One dark day Azur's father cruelly separates them, he sends Azur to the city for a private education and banishes the nurse and Asmar from his home. Some years later Azur returns and sets out to a land far away to find the nurse and Asmar. Finally reunited, it soon becomes clear that Azur and Asmar will compete against each other to be the first one to rescue the fairy.

The Prince's Quest resource

Bridge to Terabithia

Still image of teenage girl and boy opening bag with a beam of light coming out

Relevance: Suitable for Key Stage 2 Literacy, PSHE, Citizenship and the Creative Arts. The resource can also be used as part of your school’s anti-bullying campaign.
Certificate: 15
Synopsis: Jess Aarons is an outsider at school and even in his own family. Jess has trained all summer to become the fastest kid in his middle school class but his goal is unexpectedly thwarted by the new girl in school, Leslie Burke who competes in the ‘boys only’ race and wins. Despite their awkward introduction, the two outsiders quickly become best friends. Leslie loves to tell stories of fantasy and magic. Jess loves to draw, but until he met Leslie it was something he kept to himself. Leslie opens a new world of imagination for Jess. Together they create the secret kingdom of Terabithia, a magical place only accessible by swinging on an old rope over a stream in the woods near their homes. There, the friends rule the kingdom, fight the Dark Master and his creatures and plot against the school bullies.

Bridge to Terabithia bullying resource

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe

Still image of small girl and fawn

Relevance: The study guide is aimed at Teachers of Literacy and PSHE at Key Stage 2 & 3.
Certificate: U
Synopsis: Following the exploits of the four Pevensie siblings in World War II England who enter the world of Narnia through a magical wardrobe while playing a game of hide-and-seek in the country home of an elderly professor. Once there, the children discover a charming, peaceful land inhabited by talking beasts, dwarfs, fauns, centaurs and giants that has become a world cursed to eternal winter by the evil White Witch, Jadis. Under the guidance of a noble and mystical ruler, the lion Aslan, the children fight to overcome the White Witch’s powerful hold over Narnia in a spectacular, climactic battle that will free Narnia from Jadis’ icy spell forever.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe study guide, Worksheets, Teachers Notes