Any movie suggestions that related to sense of belonging? Preferably films over disney animation. Please state reasons and explain.

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gkopf | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Another film that has to do with a sense of belonging is The Breakfast Club.  In this movie, we meet five high school students who have all been sent to detention.  These five students come from different cliques and groups, and are stereotyped based on who they hang out with and what they wear.  During detention, they learn more about each other, and realize that they have more in common than they expected.  In the end, they have to transcend their social labels to work together and form friendships.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the best films to express the issue of belonging would be Mean Girls.  The film asks questions related to adolescent notions of belonging.  It posits the idea of what individuals would do to find acceptance, how important is this belonging in terms of its costs on identity, and it suggests that belonging is a resource, as valuable as gold and silver, in terms of defining one's sense of self as well as defining one's own place in the world. Mean Girls  is an excellent example of belonging because it takes the viewer into a culture that is fundamentally unknown, discussing the rules, ethics, and politics of the adolescent world of high school.

I think that another film that discusses the idea of belonging in a poignant and emotionally painful manner is El Norte.  This film centers on immigration from Central America to Northern America.  The element of belonging that is a part of the narrative is how the main characters struggle to "belong" anywhere.  They want to remain in their home, Guatemala, but cannot due to political instability.  The brother and sister who emigrate cannot settle in Mexico because its poverty is too difficult to endure and they find that they cannot be a full part of "El Norte" because social and institutional discrimination makes it impossible for them.  In this light, the issue of belonging is set against the border that divides two worlds- one of unspeakable poverty and one of unimaginable wealth.  The film articulates how some individuals cannot find belonging in either domain.

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