Working with the film Babel

Babel (2006)

We talk about the border as a place only, instead of an idea. I believe that the real borders are the ones that exist within us.

Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of Babel

Discussion questions to the film:

  1. What does the Biblical story of Babel in chapter 11 of Genesis illustrate?
  2. In which countries does this film take place?
  3. What languages are spoken by the main persons?
  4. Where do you find acute misunderstandings between persons?
  5. Give a short summary of the plot and the main conflicts in the film.
  6. How well do the actors portray the main characters, do you think??
  7. Which scenes do you think are the most important ones?
  8. Is the story chronological? Are there any flashbacks and/or flash forwards?
  9. What techniques are used to tell the story? (sound-color-camera use)
  10. It is claimed that this film is filled with emotions that need no translation. They are universal. Give examples of this.
  11.  Does the film have a clear message, or does it leave room for different solutions?
  12. Your personal evaluation of the film. Give reasons for your view.
  13. To whom would you recommend the film “Babel”?

After having watched the film, write a blog post on one of the following tasks:

  1. The title and the actions in the film strongly indicate that communication and lack of communication, or rather breakdown of communication is a main theme. Discuss and explain how this is reflected in the film.
  2. Another theme related to this might be intercultural communication and challenges represented by globalization. Why is it so difficult to reach out to each other across cultures? Discuss and explain by referring to the film. You may focus on:

    Japanese vs. Western culture
    Mexican vs. American culture
    American vs. Arab culture
  3. Yet another theme related to communication might be loneliness. How is this reflected in the film? Give examples and explain.

Ingunn

NB! Postponed because of home school – see itslearning for link and task to the film Desert Flower instead.

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