The film, Dead Man Walking is based on a true story. Mathew Ponselet (Sean Penn) has been sentenced to death for the double murder of two teenagers. During the last seven days of his life, he is entitled to “spiritual counselling.” He chooses a nun, Sister Prejean (Susan Sarandon) to stay with him. This is the story of their interaction.
This compelling film explores Capital Punishment. It's ideal for teaching during a Civil Law unit. It's also a powerful film to view in a Secondary English class. The Film Response sheet asks students to:
1. Discuss questions about issues described in the movie
2. Examine vocabulary (lethal injection, pardon by Governor etc.)
3. Make connections to other texts, the larger world, and to self
4. Provide a personal response to the execution.