Jean-Luc Godard, the director and screenwriter who pioneered the new wave of French cinema, once said: “Art attracts us because it shows us what is hidden in us”.
Cinematography has the wonderful ability to convey human emotions, thoughts, and experiences by telling compelling stories. And it can also teach us a lot about psychology.
The professors in the psychology department at Saint Leo University, Florida, USA, suggest that their students watch the following 5 movies. We think they will be useful for you, too, if you are interested in psychology. By the way, if you need to write an essay about one of those or any other movies, you can use McEssay.
1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
About: A young man is accused of killing his father and faces the electric chair. Twelve jurors gather to reach a verdict: guilty or not guilty.
From the beginning of the trial, almost all of them were inclined to say guilty, and only one of the twelve allowed himself to doubt. The jury’s guilty-not-guilty verdict was 11 to 1. By the end of the meeting, the judges’ opinions had changed dramatically…
This movie teaches a tremendously important lesson and reflects social psychology. It shows in detail human bias, blind adherence to dogma, aggression, group relationships, the topic of leadership, the ability to persuade, and so on.
2. 28 Days (2000)
How should a young, spoiled with fame and money writer behave? Gwen Cummings decides she can do anything: upset her sister’s wedding by getting drunk half to death, steal a limo, trash the neighbor’s house. But a rehab center for chronic alcoholics, according to the New York court, should sober her up. For 28 days she will have to become a completely different person.
The film very well describes pathological addictions, rehabilitation, and recovery patients. Everything is presented in a humorous manner and with a fair amount of optimism.
3. Mind Games (2001)
About: From world fame to sinful depths, John Forbes Nash, Jr. A mathematical genius, at the dawn of his career he did titanic work in the field of game theory that turned that branch of mathematics upside down and practically brought him international fame.
However, at literally the same time the arrogant and successful woman Nash receives a stroke of fate that turns his life upside down.
According to Mark Proksch at McEssay the picture shows the life of a brilliant man suffering from schizophrenia. Psychologists can notice how many symptoms of this disease are shown in “Plays of the Mind,” and observe how schizophrenia affects the life of John Forbes Nash.
4. The Blind Side (2009)
About: A well-to-do white family takes in a fat, illiterate, homeless Negro teenager and helps him become a sports star and go to university.
“The Blind Side” is a film about overcoming the misunderstandings that arise because of racial and age differences. There’s a lot to learn here.
5. Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
About: The plot is based on the complicated relationship between a rich American woman of Jewish descent and her African-American driver. The movie is set in Atlanta in the 1950s when racial prejudice was still strong. Miss Daisy is a widow whose son insists on hiring a driver for her. She resists the changes in her life, refusing to go anywhere with her new driver, Hawke. But in time Hawke wins not only her affection but also her friendship.
This film, like “The Memory Diary,” will tell the story of Alzheimer’s disease and the search for understanding between two very different people.
6. Son’s room / La stanza del figlio (2001)
The sedate life of Italian psychoanalyst Giovanni and his relationship with his wife and two children stand in stark contrast to the problems of the patients he sees. But family happiness crumbles with the tragic death of his son.
The analyst can’t help people overcome their problems until he finds a way to process his psychic drama. Therapy is a long and difficult process, even for a professional psychologist who needs to understand what is best for himself and his patients.
7. Beautiful Dreamers (1990)
The action takes place at the end of the 19th century. Dr. Beck is the new head of a psychiatric hospital in Canada, who is categorically dissatisfied with the treatment of his patients. The people in rehabilitation are treated as unreasonable animals. Beck does not agree that mental illness irrevocably turns people into ridiculous creatures. He adheres to humanistic psychology and believes recovery of the sick is possible.
The beauty of this story is that with new therapies, hope for happiness comes to patients. Vigorous activities aimed at the development of physical and psychological health increase the self-esteem of the clinic’s residents.
8. David and Lisa (1962)
The story is about two young men with mental problems who develop bizarre friendships. David is in a mental institution for teenagers with an antisocial personality type. Here he meets Lisa, who suffers from schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. They soon begin to interact more often, and David learns how to communicate with this girl.
What is shown here is the unusual psychotherapy that takes place between two teenagers who must figure out how to overcome their barriers to connect.
This is not even a film about mental illness and psychiatry, but about inner growth for the sake of someone else, which leads to an awareness that helps you overcome your problems and take responsibility for your life and future.
9. The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
Nunnally Johnson’s drama Three Faces of Eve is an adaptation of a documentary book based on a real case of split personality. Therefore, the film can even be used as a visual aid in lectures on psychiatry.
The main character Eva White (Joanne Woodward) suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. An alternate bold and swaggering personality develops in the modest and timid housewife, and a third, Eva’s intelligent and intelligent personality, balances them.
The film attempts to illustrate the development of an individual confronted with negative aspects into a coherent personality. According to Jung, this is the need to unify one’s negative and positive sides while maintaining a public face.
10. Freud: The Secret Passion (1962)
John Huston’s pseudo biographical drama about the life of Sigmund Freud, the development of his theory about the psyche, and his attempt to apply that theory to the treatment of patients suffering from a hysterical disorder. The founder of psychoanalysis uses a method of hypnosis, innovative for its time, which was used in practice by the famous psychiatrist Jean Charcot. When Freud linked the causes of hysteria with repressed memories and thoughts of a sexual nature, the intellectual elite turned their backs on him. In the film, Freud’s main patient is Cecily Kortner, who in reality was known as Anna O. and was treated for some time by Josef Breuer.