Identify a film based on the theme of identity?Identify a film based on the theme of identity?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the strongest films rooted in the idea of identity would have to be The Hours. The film focuses on the identity of three different women and the narratives of three women from three different time periods and three different worlds all are connected with the idea of identity.  The social, emotional, and psychological constructions of a woman's identity is something explored with depth and intensity in the film.  The notion of identity is central to the characterizations of the women in the film.  Each one must seek to better understand who they are and ensure that their choices is reflective of identity and this becomes the central focus of the film.  How identity is both convergent and divergent becomes a major element of the film.  The film's discussion of identity relates to being both a women and a human being in challenging social times.  This is a central issue of the film and one in which identity is of vital importance both to the plot of the film and towards the arc of characterization in each woman's character.

booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The movie Unbreakable by M. Night Shyamalan is about a man, David (Bruce Willis), who thinks that he is normal— average, nothing particularly special. His identity is revealed to him by Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson) who is crazy, searching for his own identity by discovering someone who is his opposite--which happens to be David. Each man ends up defining himself (finding his identity) in comparison to someone else.

We might even see this is Shymalan's Signs. Rev. Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is forced through the danger of an alien invasion to search for his identity—having lost his faith when his wife was killed in a car accident, when (as a pastor) he lost his faith in God and direction in his life.

In both movies, identity is at the center, and the search by individuals to find a way to know and define themselves.


stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To take a completely different angle from the previous responses, allow me to suggest "Mr. Holland's Opus." This is the gentle story of a man who has dreams of becoming a composer of great music. Life happens, and he becomes a music teacher in an era when the fine arts are being cut, students may not be highly motivated, and the work load for teachers outside class time gets heavier every year. The realization that his son is deaf is too much for him to deal with for much of the film, but through it all he continues to dream of and work at composing an original piece of music - his opus.

The film has a very predictable, warm fuzzy conclusion, but it's also a story of following one's passion in spite of the challenges along the way.

ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another film based on identity is The Bourne Identity.  There are actually three movies based on this character but this is the first one that starts the whole story.   Plus it also has the word indentity in the title!  The plot centers around Matt Damon's character named Jason Bourne who wakes up one day having absolutely no idea who or where he is.  The only information he has is his name.  Over the course of the movie(s) he slowly starts to learn that he is a secret agent involved in some very high level international affairs, but the fun part for the audience is that he has to slowly follow the clues to uncover the mystery of his identity and his past.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
There are many films with the theme of identity. I will discuss the dystopian film The Island. In it, the people think that they are living in a protective dome after a natural disaster. They find out they are clones of wealthy individuals. To discover your entire identity is false would be quite a shock. Your memories are not real, and in some ways neither are you.
kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Truman Show may be an interesting film to analyse where Truman Burbank's life is revealed to be a reality TV show. The challenges of realising that he is not who or what he thought, and that his relationships and interactions are scripted change Truman's outlook and existence.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One movie which depicts the theme of identity is Identity with John Cusack. This movie is a psychological thriller with an amazing plot twist at the end. Another movie about identity is Thr3e (based upon a novel by Ted Dekker). This film depicts the life of a man and a murderer.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Seven Pounds with will Smith is a film about identity and the struggle to make one's identity meaningful.

Good Will Hunting is another film written about the pursuit of success via the self-determination of identity.

enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Crying Game where Fergus falls in love with Dil, who up to that point in the movie we thought was a woman.  Dil also has to assume a male disguise later in the movie to prevent being captured.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What about Almost Famous, American Beauty, or even The Shawshank Redemption?

Certainly the theme of identity runs through each of these.