One of the things we’ve started in the last year or so is a Sunday night “thinking” movie. A thinking movie is simply a movie that makes us think. We arrange our Sunday afternoon so that we have plenty of time to watch the DVD, talk about it (over dinner) and get to bed at a decent time (we don’t like late nights on Sunday).
People have asked me what movies we watch – here is a list of our favourites.
Documentary type DVDs
Drive Thru History (Ancient) – Our kids love this series. They love Dave Stott’s humour and the way he tells the story of history makes learning fun. History from a biblical/Christian perspective.
Do Hard Things DVD – After we read the book, we watched the conference. Fantastic! Encouraging teenagers to rise up and be serious about their life.
The History of Christianity and Western Civilization – A tour through Europe, very much from a Christian Reformers perspective. This is a long series and it is taking a while to get through but we thoroughly enjoy it. We often pause and talk about the issues or principles from the past and how they affect us today.
Divided – A documentary on the state of the Christian youth and the implications of youth groups. We talked for ages after watching this one. Peter and I have encouraged integrated ages in many situations for many years. The challenge is where do we find the balance between what we believe and where others are at.
Darwin – the Voyage that Shook the World – This was slow going but the older children enjoyed the content. Worth watching (just don’t try it when you are tired!)
The Mysterious Islands – this was much better (than the above one), this kept everyone engaged. content about Darwin, evolution and the Galapagos Islands.
Rod’s Ark – About Noah’s Ark – Fairly simple and no fan fare but truths that our kids need to see and talk about.
The Truth Project – A fantastic worldview study. We did this as a Bible Study with other people so we did not have the liberty to stop and start and discuss along the way, consequently it was above the heads of some of our children. I’d like to do this again in a family setting. Great for upper teens (include this in your curriculum for year 11/12).
Biography type DVDs
The Eastern Bride – a story from Open Doors – these stories really do make us think about what it is like for Christians in other countries
Agent Abbey – A story from Voice of the Martyrs – about the persecuted church in China
Chariots of Fire – a favourite story. Does our faith affect our life choices – are we prepared to go without success for the sake of Jesus.
The Blind Side – we were very moved by this story of a family’s opening up their home.
Gifted Hands – Loved how Ben’s mother addressed education.
Amazing Grace – You could talk about something different each time you watch this movie. Plenty of truths to ponder.
God Provides (5 dvd set) – short dramatised Bible stories with a study/discussion guide to help discussion (if needed).
800 Horsemen – an Australia at war story
Movies – that tell a story
Come What May – A story about the debate around abortion though we have also talked about the issue of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships from watching this.
The Ultimate Gift – we have watched this story over and over. It tells that there are more important things in life than money and living the good life.
Pilgrims Progress – a good telling of this classic
Pendragon – Though we didn’t buy this with a ‘thinking movie night’ in mind – there were lessons to learn about following the vision that God gives you and your family.
DVD’s for younger kids
Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution – Great images, and easy to listen to evidence against evolution
Life’s Story – another animal documentary but from a Biblical perspective
Moody Science Classics (these can be purchased individually as well as in a series) – these are old an
We didn’t start doing this till Daniel was a little older, so I don’t have a lot of titles to share with you, but if you know of some please let me know.
Thank you for this fantastic idea! Are the Drive Thru History appropriate for a younger crowd?
Hi Erin – we are not sure of an age appropriateness for Drive Thru History as we’ve only lent it to folk with older kids. I think it depends on your approach to history – he doesn’t hold back in talking about gods and immoral behaviour/beliefs when applicable though it isn’t excessively explicit or graphic but it gets talked about and there are some images of nudity (in an ancient context). We’ve accepted this information as reality though if the camera stayed on these images for too long we would get uncomfortable – but the pictures are usually moving and brief. In mentioning this I don’t want to infer that it is all the way through everything but for those who have studied ancient history we know what life was like back then and it gets covered. I guess my youngest was 8ish when we started to watch these. I do think they are aimed at pre-teen age children with the objective of making history enjoyable but still within a biblical worldview, with a perspective of reality.
the Moody Science Classics are a favourite of ours too. We purchased the series through Vision Forum
Franklin Springs Media DVDs are good thinking DVDs too bought them directly through their site and can purchase from some Aussie suppliers too.