Jonathan Barker – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- Through filmmaking, essential messages of life can be conveyed to a wide range of people of any age. It is an art to make a film that has the capability to be universally accepted and share the same message to the young and old.

Many Mustangs can name a single film that captures that memorable life lesson and recommend that film to others.

Wizard of Oz,” the classic story of Dorothy and her magical friends traveling through the mystical land of Oz, has been an American cornerstone and essential family viewing for over 75 years.

Junior Jeremy Maguire considers ‘Wizard of Oz’ a part of his childhood.

“This film has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My family and I use to watch it every year the day before Thanksgiving, almost religiously. It has always made me feel at home,” he said.

The overall messages of overcoming weakness with action and the human longing of home are timeless as well as ageless.

No movie or franchise has had the cultural impact quite like the “Star Wars” films have. The traditional battle of good and bad is a staple of the series, with the struggle of the Jedi overcoming the dark side prevalent in nearly every installment.

English instructor Michael Wood evaluates the value of the film series to all ages.

“At any age the viewer can easily differentiate good from bad. For the young viewer there is barely any violence, and many special effects. For the old viewers there are moments of suspense and nuances that may not be understood by a younger viewer.”

Senior Jack Hudson describes the movie as “essential viewing” and considers the “constant themes of defying authoritative or father figures is relatable in most lives.”

Overcoming stereotypes to achieve greatness through training and dedication is a theme in many family films; a shining standard in said type of films is 1981’s ‘Chariots of Fire‘.

The drama revolving around two British runners training for the 1924 Olympics, each with different religious sentiments to prove and religious stereotypes to overcome was critically acclaimed when released, ultimately winning four academy awards, including best picture.

Math instructor Catherine Franek relates the film to the human nature of self-worth.

“While it may be important to prove yourself to others, many times you find yourself attempting to prove yourself to yourself. This film shows the sacrifice and commitment necessary to do such through running, however it can be related to any human in life, and that is the success of it,” said Franek.

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