This is a 15-page film guide for the study of the film Philadelphia (1993), which was directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.
This powerful and significant film may be viewed in an International Baccalaureate film course, a social studies course, a health class, or an English class. It challenges viewers to reflect upon and discuss important issues involving human rights, social justice, and knowledge/ignorance.
This guide includes the following items:
(2) Film Synopsis
(3) Why Should We Watch This?
(4) Film Details- Background
(5) Essential Vocabulary Worksheet for Students including terms such as HIV/AIDS, homophobia, and discrimination
(6) Essential Vocabulary Answer Key
(7) Student Pre-Viewing Webquest activity to encourage students to familiarize themselves on relevant topics such as the AIDS epidemic in the United States in the 1980s.
(8) Suggested Websites for Webquest
(9) Pre-Viewing Questions
(10) Viewing Questions
(11) Post-Viewing Questions for Writing and Discussion
(12) Responding to the Impact of Philadelphia: Movies as Catalysts
of Change article and discussion questions
(13) Suggestions for Use
(14) Applicable common core standards for studying film as a text
Sometimes it is easy for us to forget that film is not just a great source of entertainment, but also a powerful and influential way for a director to convey significant messages, ideas, and warnings to the audience. Movies, both fictional accounts and non-fictional documentaries, can transmit information or increase social awareness in a way that may dramatically alter the public conversation about a certain topic or controversial issue.
My students responded strongly to this film and we found it beneficial for study and discussion.
Please leave a review if you found this guide to be helpful and engaging for your students!