Summer Movie Gives Glimpse of Real World
by Louisa Moore on Monday, September 30th, 2013
For three years, discussing Milton’s summer movies have been a prominent beginning-of-school tradition. These movies allow students and faculty members, both new and returning, to join together for group discussion and reflection.
In choosing each year’s summer movie, current and past head monitors have tended to gravitate towards films that address issues outside of the experience of a typical Milton student. The first summer movie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, deals with disabilities, obesity, and life in rural America, while Waiting for Superman and Freedom Writers both detail the ineffective public education system in the United States.
In this year’s summer film, The Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a homeless man struggling to provide love and a home for his son. The story begins as Gardner invests his life savings into an unsuccessful bone-density scanner; he soon loses his wife, his car, his home, and his career. However, with his burning desire to succeed, he manages to land an unpaid position at a stockbroker firm. As he competes with other interns for a permanent position, he struggles to balance the demands of work with the time and energy he must devote to his child, played by Smith’s real-life son, Jaden Smith. In the end, Gardner earns the position, opening up doors of opportunity for him and his son.
Though this movie addresses issues that many members of the Milton community have not had to face, the majority of students responded positively to the film, learned from it. Nick Jiang (I) comments, “It was the best summer movie I have seen during my four years at Milton.” Many others agreed, admitting that they reacted strongly to the movie, at times even feeling “frustrated because just as things were about to go right, everything goes wrong.” Because The Pursuit of Happyness provides a window into a life that many students here at Milton have never experienced firsthand, students hope to share their thoughts with their classmates, peers, and teachers and reflect on the important issues that the film addressed.
Hopefully, this all-school tradition will continue unifying the Milton community, from the new freshmen to the returning seniors to the faculty members for many more years.
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