Glendale Community College Religion and Women Characters in Water Film Discussion How is religions portrayed in the movie in relation to the women characters? What examples from ANY of the class readings can you relate to the movie and its characters? (Use at least 3 examples from the many we read in class AND you should also refer to “roles” or something from the intro powerpoint in how the women’s lives are impacted. Look at conflicts, cooperation, understanding and biases in the plots.
Pick whichever movie that you may have seen. I am ok with anything to be quite honest. Thank you so much! FINAL ASSIGNMENT: You can do one of 2 things for your final 3 page essay:
You may watch a movie from the list below OR if you know of another, clear it with me first and write a
detailed analysis of how religion is impacting the women in the movie. (Questions you should ask yourself:
Where is the movie set and what culture is it from? How is religions portrayed in the movie in relation to the
women characters? What examples from ANY of the class readings can you relate to the movie and its
characters? (Use at least 3 examples from the many we read in class AND you should also refer to “roles” or
something from the intro powerpoint in how the women’s lives are impacted. Look at conflicts, cooperation,
understanding and biases in the plots.
FOR EXAMPLE: Babette’s Feast is about a woman who is a phenomenal cook, moves into a very
conservative Danish Protestant town where any bodily pleasure is seen as sinful. So, extravagant meals are
seen as decadent, lol. Reminds me of a Like Water for Chocolate. The Puritanical Protestantism is suspicious
of all things physically enjoyable and it leads to some members of the community seeing the woman as sinful,
rather than their interpretation as the source of “evil.” I like to use the example that the body was not the sin as
God put the first couple naked in the garden. The sin was in the mind once they gained the knowledge of evil.
Ergo, it is the mind and its evil that makes what was beautiful a sin. And then I could use the myth of Bambara,
or anything about temptresses. Hopefully you’ll watch what you pick with a theme in mind, which will make it
easier to watch for certain aspects in the movie. This is where your notes using tables to break down the
components of each myth or information will help make writing easy.
You may visit any of the many places of worship that is not the one that you are a practicing member
of. And NO, Protestants can’t visit a Christian Catholic church or any other Christian denomination. You can go
to a mosque or synagogue, however…or any of the other religions we studied. Daoist, Buddhist, Confucian,
shamanistic native tradition, traditional Pacific Islander practitioners, or Hindu temple.
BEFORE you visit, you must call ahead to explain that you are doing this for a class on gender and would like
to talk to a woman practitioner OR someone who can answer questions on any differences in ritual and
worship by gender. Have your questions in hand before you go. When you visit, be nonjudgmental about how
you ask about gender differences and try simply find out what, if any restrictions are in worship at the place.
For example, do women have to cover their heads, do they have their own designated place in the facility, but
you don’t need to question the theological argument for what they tell you. Pick up any pamphlets that are
available, ask if you can take pictures and where it is ok, draw a little layout of the building/grounds/garden,
anything that will enhance your essay. It must be no less than 3 full double-spaced, 12 pt Times New Roman or
Arial font, 1” margins (remember to correct the Microsoft Word sometimes defaults to 1.25” L and R margins)
in addition to your visual aids. Just your name, date, and class name on one line at the top, then a title
identifying where you went followed by your proofread carefully written essay.
You will then give a brief description of the place and get your interviewee or guide’s name. Most of your essay
should be your observances of various things that you can connect to what we learned in class. EG. What
rituals you saw or were mentioned, whether there was a sacred text, special clothing or artifacts and symbols
around, the general atmosphere (subdued or boisterous, happy but placid, calming, emotional…find some
good descriptive words). Finally, include anything that you found particularly interesting or that you could relate
to…remember, do not judge in your writing, instead, try to experience the place with an open, curious mind.
Movies and Media for Women & Religion
DVD/Netflix: only on DVD
NETFLIX: streaming on Netflix
*: Professor’s copy
Antonia’s Line (Dutch, feminism) matriarch holds sway over several generations of women – DVD
Babette’s Feast (Danish/Protestant) – DVD Netflix
Bless Me, Ultima (New Mexico, boy and his cunandera grandmother) – DVD Netflix
Not W/out my Daughter ( Betty Mahmoody) *
There is also a 6 part documentary about the father, Seyyed Bozong Mahmoody , on You
Water (Indian widows’ home) – NETFLIX
The Stoning of Soraya M (Small town Iran, based on true story) – DVD Netflix *
Rosenstrasse (WWII German women protest to save their Jewish husbands) – DVD Netflix *
Like Water for Chocolate (Mexican family, food) – DVD Netflix
Frida (Frida Kahlo, atheist) – NETFLIX
Mustang (Turkish/French, 5 sisters in remote Turkish village) NETFLIX
The Magdelene Sisters (Irish Catholic asylum for “fallen” women in 60s)-DVD Netflix
Joy Luck Club (Chinese in America)
Mulan (Disney version) DVD Netflix OR Chinese movie Mulan: Legendary Warrior – DVD Netflix
(Hua Mulan, if you prefer to read the ancient Chinese legend)
Sworn Virgin (Albanian woman who lives as a man) NETFLIX
Desert Dancer (Iranian dancers) NETFLIX
Sandstorm (Bedouin polygamy and female independence) – NETFLIX
Sleepy Hollow (1999 movie with witches) – DVD Netflix
The Witch (2015 witch movie) DVD Netflix
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)*
Whalerider (2003) DVD Netflix*
The Eagle Huntress (2016) DVD Netflix
The Letters (2015 biopic of Mother Teresa using her correspondence to her advisor) NETFLIX
The Scarlet Letter (there are several version, except the one with Demi Moore) DVD Netflix
Veer-Zaara (2004 Indian Hindu and Muslim love story) DVD Netflix
My Name is Khan (2010 American Muslim/Hindu couple which 9/11 separates) DVD Netflix
Julie (1979 and 2005 movies are about an Indian Christian girl, Hindu man and unwanted
pregnancy) DVD Netflix
Amira & Sam (2014 Catholic American vet and Muslim American woman fall in love) DVD Netflix
Lemon Tree (2008 movie about a Palestinian widow fighting to save her farm in the disputed area
of Israel) DVD Netflix
Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994 Ang Lee movie about a Taiwanese widower and his 3 daughters) DVD
David & Layla (2008 US movie about Jewish man, Muslim refugee woman RomCom based on real
story) DVD Netflix
Padman I just watched this movie and it deserves to be on the list even though it isn’t specifically about
religion. What is religious is the place of caste and women, the cultural insistence that women’s bodies and
natural processes are “unclean” because of blood, the Laws of Manu, and that women are considered inferior
to men and therefore a couple aren’t allowed to talk/touch/understand one another’s bodies and natural
functions because of a socially constructed belief system about “morality and shame.” Below is the link to an
article about the real man and then you may use the Bollywood movie. India Pad Man.docx
Lioness, docudrama on the first women Army soldiers who saw combat in Iraq. This is because the military
used women to search the Iraqi women at checkpoints and to be ambassadors in a way. In other words, the
religio-cultural world of the middle east required women warriors. DVD only. $3.99 rental on Amazon. Also
an important movie showing the mixture of ethnicities in any group of soldiers.
Little Mosque (Canadian sit-com) HULU
The Vicar of Dibley (BBC show) NETFLIX
4 on this link: http://www.aquila-style.com/lifestyle/movies-films/documentaries-you-cannotmiss/59718/
“I WASN’T ALWAYS DRESSED LIKE THIS” “ME AND THE MOSQUE” “OUTLAWED IN PAKISTAN” “HIP HOP
HIJABIS” The 4th movie “The Square” is also good if you are interested, but focuses primarily on the
men during the protests in Cairo square against the government during the recent Egyptian
“OUR TIMES” Iranian 2002 elections and women-DVD Netflix
“INDIA’S DAUGHTER” Deadly rape in India causes widespread protests-NETFLIX
“DANCING IN JAFFA” 2013 A ballroom dance instructor teaches competitive dancing in Israel to
Palestinians and Jews, contending with both the conflict between the 2 religions AND conservative
about men and women socializing. DVD Netflix
“EAGLE HUNTRESS” 2016 documentary of a father who breaks tribal norms and teaches his daughter
with a trained eagle. DVD Netflix
“BREADWINNER” 2017 animated film about a young girl who, after her father’s arrest by the Taliban,
hair so she can work and help feed her family, while looking for her father as well.
“HE NAMED ME MALALA” 2015 documentary about the young Pakistani girl who survived being shot
Taliban on her way to school. She has spoken publically for girls’ education and even
addressed the UN. DVD Netflix.
ALSO: single mom movies, women as heroes (Hunger Games, Divergent, Kill Bill, Wonder Woman
with me first)
IF YOU CAN FIND A COPY:
Ararat (fiction, Armenian genocide)
Artemesia (fiction, Gentileschi 17th c painter)
The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt (documentary, Columbian presidential candidate)
Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change (documentary, Catholic nuns in Selma fighting
civil rights in the 60s)
Persepolis (2007) Animated film by Marjane Satrapi, partly autobiographical during her childhood
during the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Fiddler on the Roof (1971) Musical about Russian Jews in 1905 but has a lot of gender aspects
because of the main character’s 5 daughters. DVD Netflix
Yentl (1983) Young Jewish woman dresses like a man so that she can learn Talmudic Law after her
father died. DVD Netflix
JUST ADDED F2019:
Meditation Park (2017) Movie about Chinese women in America and has at least 1 scene that clearly
shows a Confucian world view. Netflix
You need to pick what you plan on doing for your last essay and email your choice to me by Nov 17th or
lose 5 points on the final paper. WORD COUNT is 600 word MINIUMUM.
Purchase answer to see full
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