Teaching Students About Orphan Movies
A lesson in film history would not be complete without exploring the world of orphan films. As educators, it is important to teach students about these lesser-known gems of cinema. In this article, we will discuss the importance of teaching students about orphan movies, the challenges teachers face while introducing these films in their curriculum, and suggest ways to overcome these obstacles.
Importance of Teaching About Orphan Movies
Orphan movies refer to films that have been abandoned by their original producers or are unavailable for various reasons, such as the passing of a filmmaker or loss of distribution rights. These films offer valuable insights into different aspects of society during their time periods and showcase unconventional narratives that are often overlooked in mainstream cinema.
By introducing students to orphan movies, educators can:
1. Enhance Understanding of Film History: Orphan movies provide a unique perspective on film history as they reveal trends and techniques present in various eras. Students learn to appreciate the development of cinematic language through these lesser-known works.
2. Encourage Critical Thinking: Orphan movies often challenge traditional storytelling norms, pushing students to think critically. They are exposed to innovative ideas and techniques that spark interesting discussions on plot structures, character arcs, and other elements that go into creating a movie.
3. Promote Cultural Awareness: Many orphan movies delve deep into different cultures and subcultures. By studying these lesser-known stories, students have a chance to broaden their understanding of societies different from their own.
Challenges Faced by Educators
Despite the inherent value in teaching orphan movies to students, teachers may face several challenges while incorporating them into their curriculum:
1. Accessibility and Availability: Teachers may find it difficult to obtain copies or screen orphan films due to lack of distribution rights or other restrictions placed by institutions.
2. Time Constraints: Educators must balance time between teaching mainstream film history and exploring orphan movies. They often find themselves choosing between introducing lesser-known works and covering more familiar ground.
3. Lack of Educational Resources: Teachers may struggle to find lesson plans and materials tailored specifically towards orphan movies, leading to challenges in structuring their curriculum.
Here are a few ways educators can try to overcome these challenges when teaching orphan movies:
1. Collaborate with Film Archives and Institutions: Reach out to film archives, museums, and other institutions that house orphan films. They can provide access to films and guide you in using them effectively in your curriculum.
2. Utilize Online Resources: Many online platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and the Internet Archive contain a wealth of orphan movies that can be screened for educational purposes.
3. Create Your Own Lesson Plans: Educators can combine elements from various resources to create tailored lesson plans that best suit their students’ needs and interests when discussing orphan movies.