Seeing The Light

Exploring Ethics Through Movies

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Here's where you'll find ongoing discussion of movies and ethics, as new films come out, interesting debates arise, and new ideas come to light.

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Ethics in film: 18 Aug 2014

Posted by Wanda Teays on August 19, 2014 at 11:10 PM



Dawn of Planet of the Apes

If you didn’t see Rise of Planet of the Apes, the Dawn may leave you a bit in the dark. There are a few fillers to convey why the main protagonist, ape Caesar, has a more tolerant view of humans than do his fellow apes and why ape Koba hasn’t a shred of empathy for the energy-deprived humans. As you may remember from District 9, the non-human victims of disablin...

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Posted by Wanda Teays on January 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM


You know that saying, ‘No man is an island’? Well, Theodore Twombly is about as close to being a one-man island as you can get this side of a psychopath. He lives alone in an upscale so-roomy-it’s-almost-barren apartment on a high-enough floor to look out at the skyscrapers and the streets far below. He sees the buildings and the tiny, lighted windows of the high rises, but too far away to see human shapes.

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Ethics in Film: 12 JUNE 2103

Posted by Wanda Teays on June 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM



Wasn’t it William Faulkner who said the past is never past? More precisely, he said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” No wonder this is such a famous quote—we need only turn to three recent movies to see the past popping up in the present.These are The Company You Keep, Mud, and Before Midnight.


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Ethics in the News: 26 JAN 2013

Posted by Wanda Teays on January 27, 2013 at 12:25 AM


Is There No End to Revelations of Sex Abuse by Priests?

Just when we thought we’d reached a plateau on the disclosure (or cover-ups) of priests abusing children, more comes to light, as the January 21, 2013 Los Angeles Times reports. (see link below)

At this point, we need a national accounting: 

How many priests are we talking about?  How many ch...

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Overview of Movies on the Blog

Posted by Wanda Teays on January 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM


12 JUNE 2013

The Company You Keep


Before Midnight



7 JANUARY 2013


The Hunger Games con.


Pitch Perfect

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Ethics in Film: 7 JAN 2013

Posted by Wanda Teays on January 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM


I vow to love you through thick and thin, through sickness and in health, 'til death do us part. How many times have we heard that or said it? And we mean it too, don't we? Such vows are made in public settings (e.g., weddings and anniversaries) before our dearest friends and family; a testimony to their importance. And we mean good when we say the words, we mean good.

So why is it that so many peopl...

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Ethics in Film: 24 NOV 2012

Posted by Wanda Teays on November 26, 2012 at 12:50 AM



 Argo (2012) has received a lot of good press, both in terms of the story and the filmmaking. Ben Affleck demonstrates that directing oneself in a movie can be done well, in spite of the obstacles. It inspired me to go see Gone Baby Gone, one of Affleck’s earlier efforts—discussed below.

 Argo is based on a true story about a CIA agent, Tony Mendez, who takes a crew into Iran in a dramat...

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Ethics in Film: 4 SEP 2012

Posted by Wanda Teays on September 7, 2012 at 1:50 PM



Who doesn’t know and love The Bourne trilogy? All three are classics of the genre and invite multiple viewings. No wonder the news of a new Bourne movie elicited such excitement. The film is a spin-off centering on yet another CIA-engineered human. The tag line makes that explicit—there was never just one.

It makes sense, completely believable, no problem for Aristot...

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Ethics in Film: 4 JULY 2012

Posted by Wanda Teays on July 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM


Prometheus (2012) is a movie about time, identity, and memory. It is also about aliens among us and what people are capable of in the quest for their personal Holy Grail.

Given director Ridley Scott is responsible for two of the greats of Sci-Fi—Blade Runner and Alien—it’s not surprising we should be exploring what it means to be human. Android David of Prometheus bears some resemblance to android A...

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Ethics in Film: 31 MARCH 2012

Posted by Wanda Teays on March 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM


Gary Ross’s earlier movie Pleasantville presents a parallel universe meant to be a Utopia. It’s a fixed universe that is black and white, relatively soulless, and certainly sexless. When teenager-siblings David and Jennifer are teleported into Pleasantville, their lives undergo a major shift, as do the lives of those they encounter.

We follow the pair as they assume the li...

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