Values & Visions Guides are brief (usually the equivalent of two printed pages) guides to feature films, DVDs, or books. Each guide contains an introduction about the significance of the film/book and a plot summary. Key themes are then introduced using quotations from the film/book itself, spirituality books, and other resources. Questions relate the theme first to the film/book, then to the viewer's/reader's own life.

Use these guides to enrich your experiences with films and books. Refer to them when sharing your reactions with family and friends. Or use them with a small discussion guide meeting regularly to talk about the role of films and movies in your spiritual journeys. You can also plan programs around the guides and such themes as spiritual journeys, cross-cultural experiences, social justice, and other interests.


Even more Values & Visions Guides, published prior to 2000, are available in printed form. For the list, email us.

Amadeus. A composer to the Austrian court allows envy to eat away his soul.

Amelie. An imaginative young woman in Paris demonstrates a wonderful capacity for doing acts of kindness.

Antonia's Line. A charismatic and strong willed Dutch woman is a great role model for women in her community with her spiritual practice of hospitality.

A Beautiful Mind. A brilliant Nobel Prize-winning mathematician's loving wife helps him hatch his heart during a protracted struggle with schizophrenia.

The Castle. A working-class family in Melbourne demonstrates how the spiritual practice of gratitude brings contentment.

Central Station. A cynical retired schoolteacher experiences a miraculous opening of her compassionate heart when she helps a young boy find his family in the country.

Clockwatchers. Four office temps gives us an inside look at the work-a-day world for many women and show us how little things can lead to personal transformation.

The Color of Paradise. A blind eight-year-old Iranian boy is a model of gratitude with his ability to see with the eyes of his heart.

Committed. A true believer in marriage has much to teach us about why vows matter.

Cry, the Beloved Country. Alan Paton's classic 1948 tale is set in South Africa where two anguished fathers reach across racial lines to savor forgiveness as a healing balm.

Dead Man Walking. Sister Helen Prejean's ministry to a death row prisoner and the parents of his victims demonstrates the spiritual practice of forgiveness.

Dragonfly. A doctor becomes convinced that his love for his wife is stronger than death and she is trying to reach him from the afterlife.

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control. Four individuals with unusual jobs demonstrate what it means to be fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work.

Grand Canyon. Six people in Los Angeles cross over into each other's lives and new possibilities are born through their small acts of kindness.

Groundhog Day. A weatherman living the same day over and over until he realizes that he needs to really wake up and transform himself.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Young Harry and his pals at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry show us some important things about fears, desires, courage, love, and friendship.

Human Resources. A business student working as a trainee in human resources finds himself caught in a battle of wills and has to decide whether to stand with management or the workers.

In America. An Irish immigrant family moves beyond the wrenching, contradictory, and chaotic emotions of grief into a new life in Manhattan.

In the Bedroom. This daring drama reveals that much of the suffering in our lives is brought about not by external enemies but by the violence and rage within us.

Iris. The unconventional marriage of Iris Murdoch, an English novelist, and John Bayley, a literary critic, reveals the astonishing breadth and resiliency of marital love.

It All Starts Today. A kindergarten principal in a small and impoverished French town struggles with one crisis after another as he tries to do what is best for the children.

K-PAX. A well-acted science fiction story illustrates the importance of being open to spiritual teachers in unlikely places.

Life as a House. A dying man sets out to build a house and rebuild his relationships — transforming himself in the process.

Lost in Translation. Two Americans reach out over the age barrier to connect as friends in Tokyo.

Minority Report. This science fiction drama projects present-day attitudes and trends 50 years into the future to explore the consequences of our fear-based society.

Mondays in the Sun. Poignant portraits of six unemployed shipyard workers reveals the soul-destroying capacities of unemployment.

Mr. Holland's Opus. A man who dreams of leaving his mark upon the world by composing a symphony winds up making music of a different sort as a teacher.

My First Mister. Friendship proves to be transforming in the lives of a lonely middle-aged man and a rebellious teenage girl.

Oh, God! Book II. God chooses a little girl to be his messenger and she tries to make his work more visible in the world around her.

Pieces of April. On Thanksgiving a family deals with their memories and grievances to come to a place of gratitude.

Pay It Forward. Are small acts of courtesy and kindness a thing of the past in our society? No, says the 11-year-old moral mentor in this engaging story.

Pushing Tin. An air traffic controller deals with stress on the job and the presence of a coworker who pushes all his buttons.

Regarding Henry. A spiritual emergency forces an aggressive, successful, and amoral New York lawyer to find new sources of meaning and purpose.

The Royal Tenenbaums. A prankster father tries to reconnect with his grown children nd former life in a last ditch attempt to express his love for them.

The Scent of Green Papaya. A Vietnamese servant girl demonstrates a remarkable gift for the spiritual practice of attention, which she carries with her into adulthood.

Searching for Bobby Fischer. The process of soul-making is explored through the story of a young chess prodigy and his teachers.

Secondhand Lions. A teenage boy spends a summer with his two eccentric uncles and learns what it really means to be a man.

The Shipping News. A weak-willed man with low self-esteem ripens into a more rounded person thanks to the nurturing of family, community, and place.

Signs. This shiver story about a family facing a mystery raises questions about the meaning of coincidences and the foundations of faith.

Silver City. A gubernatorial campaign in Colorado reveals the warps of contemporary politics, the equation of big business with democracy and freedom, the wanton desecration of the environment, and the abuse of illegal immigrants.

Sunshine State. Set in two Florida beach towns, this character-diven story explores the important art of making connections and the need to live out of our deepest and truest selves.

The Terminal. A resourceful man from an Eastern European country, who is stranded in an airport transit lounge, becomes a model of the art of patience.

Two Brothers. Two tigers help to change the attitudes of the humans they encounter and give viewers an appreciation for the magnificence and mystery of animals in the wild.

Ulee's Gold. A Vietnam vet, widower, and beekeeper learns to express his nurturing and compassionate side while taking care of his drug-addicted daughter-in-law.

Under the Tuscan Sun. A recently divorced American discovers the spirituality of place when she starts over in Tuscany.

West Beirut. A Muslim teenager tries to keep his soul alive in the Lebanese city torn apart by war in 1975.