Posts Tagged ‘Gandhi’

“Pity the fool” – I can still hear our 10-year-old son laying this line from the original A-Team­ television show that ran from 1983-86. I must admit that I was not a regular viewer, but for some random reason, we saw it last night in Flagstaff, AZ, on our way home to Texas—and we both enjoyed it.

Virtually all of the characteristics of the TV show are maintained in the film: same characters, same plotlines, new high-tech ways of exploding things—and everything explodes—and, although some people die, it is so cleanly done, you sometimes wonder if they were killed or not!  We laughed a lot, and although the film was a bit too long, maybe it was just because it was midnight when it was over!

The main audience for this film is probably 10-15 year-old boys and then the mid-thirties guys who want to relive their childhood. No matter which children we are talking about, here are a few things that would make good conversation about the film.

  1. Make sure everyone knows the movie is really a cartoon! Just like the coyote gets boulders dropped on him and Elmer Fudd’s rifle blows up in his face, there is lots of violence but it is not real—and not intended to be.
  2. What a great film to instill the value of team work! Much of the film is spent getting the team together—twice—after being split apart.  The bad guys even put them in different countries because they know that individually they are harmless; together they are impossible to stop.
  3. It’s a great opportunity to talk about how you deal with conflicts of conscience. B.A. Baracus (the Mr. T character) becomes a pacifist in a stint in prison and tells the team that he can’t kill anybody anymore.  He sticks to his position even though he is threatened with death and could easily fight his way out of it.  What a great ethical situation to talk about. Of course, Hannibal is able to share another viewpoint and the real Baracus comes back, but even that is an opportunity to talk about how we train our consciences.
  4. Take the opportunity to teach your kids about Gandhi and the non-violence movement that he used to overthrow the British in India.  Both Baracas and Hannibal use Gandhi to ground their philosophies, so it is a natural time to teach about a man who changed western culture. I myself would extend that conversation to Dr. Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. Dr. King consciously imitated Gandhi, so there is an obvious connection.

Don’t get too heavy though. It is just a cartoon.  Let the kids enjoy it.

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