Recommended Films that you can use as tools to help you better your personal relationships.

We are a nation of movie goers, but the insights popular films can give regarding interpersonal relationships and family life are often overlooked. While we are entertained, we can also be educated, because many films can assist us in rethinking our value systems and how we behave with our families.

We often use popular films as teaching tools in our ACD groups to stimulate understanding of interpersonal relationships, family life, divorce, and marriage.

The descriptions of the films we cite can be found in a superb website called the Internet Movie Database ( This website is so popular it is visited by more than twelve million movie lovers every month. The films we recommend are available in either VHS or DVD formats (IMDB will tell you which format is available). We are always on the lookout to expand our list of movies-for-teaching, and you may wish to do so on your own.

Here is a sampling of our list:

Affliction shows the impact of alcoholism and physical abuse on family life and how it can damage the children, even though the parents never divorce.

A Beautiful Mind provides accurate insights into mental illness and makes for understanding and compassion.

The Great Santini Shows how punitive authoritarian parenting can destroy children’s self-esteem.

Ordinary People includes an excellent demonstration of how a child psychiatrist helps a depressed, suicide-prone adolescent overcome his depression.

Play It Again, Sam is a very funny Woody Allen comedy about divorce and self-renewal. The moral is be your authentic self, and you’ll succeed in relationships. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not.

Raisin in the Sun shows how racial discrimination can destroy a family’s security.

Scenes from a Marriage is a superb examination by Ingmar Bergman about how a marriage can deteriorate even though on the surface everything seems fine. Divorce occurs because of the character’s failure to communicate honestly and their misreading each other’s motives and feelings.

Traffic is an excellent examination of how drugs can destroy the lives of middle-class children, even though the parents never divorce.

An Unmarried Woman depicts self-renewal for a divorced woman after her husband left her.

The Way We Were depicts how divorce can happen when two well-intentioned people are moving in separate directions because of the different value systems they hold.




Creative Divorce, Love & Marriage Counseling Center
Mel & Patricia Krantzler • (415) 479-7636 •