Movies & Mediation
By: Lynn M. Malley
(This list was compiled from suggestions from teachers and trainers.)
|Comments about specific popular films:
To Kill a Mockingbird
-the scene where Atticus is sitting outside the jail the night before the trial -the children are hiding behind the bushes watching and Scout intervenes when tensions flare. Tension and conflict can be diffused when relationships are altered, as demonstrated in To Kill A Mockingbird when Scout starts asking questions of the men threatening Atticus Finch.
The Story of Us
-the scene near the beginning of the movie when there are flashbacks of their relationship culminating in the scene at the restaurant -Michelle Pfeiffer realizes 'fighting is the language they have spoken.'
Something About Mary
-the scene where he is in the interrogation room and he thinks the police are questioning him because he picked up a hitchhiker, and the police believe he is their murder suspect. Something About Mary shows the difficulties in a direct two-way communication when the parties are operating with completely different views or perceptions of the subject of discussion. Mediator plays crucial role in helping parties clarify assumptions and obtain complete information.
-the scene where Mel Gibson shows that he is not the savage they believe him to be when he speaks in French and then in Latin. How cross cultural communication and gender issues can impact the conflict is seen in Brave Heart when assumptions are made that one might not be as intelligent if they are Uifferenl and questions about negotiating with a woman.
-the scene where the therapist is questioning both Woodie Allen and Diane Keaton and there are two really different answers to the same question. The mediator's ability to see both sides or as F. Scott Fitgerald has said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function," is seen in this scene in Annie Hall.
-the scene where they are sitting around the table at the Command Center and they are told that they have to 'figure out how to fit a square peg into a round hole' in order to save their fellow astronauts in space. Apollo 13 shows creativity in generating alternatives and problem solving.
Five Easy Pieces
-the restaurant scene with the rude waitress.
A Beautiful Mind
-the classroom scene where the student (whom he later marries) handles the open windowfoutside noise dilemma.
-the scene where father of kidnapped son announces he will pay ransom to the person who finds the kidnapper (instead of paying to the kidnapper). Ransom shows how moving from a cooperative negotiation style to a competitive one can be critical to the negotiation.
-For conflict analysis, conflict styles and the psychology of conflict, Hamlet has a wealth of material to work with.
Cape Fear remake with Robert DeNiro. Jessica Lange and Nick Nolte
-mentions divorce mediation in passing.
The Story of Qiu Ji or "Qiu Ju da guan si", 1992.
-It's subtitled, hard to find and brilliant. Information can be found on the website: http://us.imdb.com/ Plot Summary: A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. Also, fast forward to the scene where Qie Ju is walking to town -the next scene is her with the village chief and instead of handing her the money he owes, he throws it on the ground and insults her. In The Story of Qie Ju she is trying to get ¡°justice¡± after the village chief has kicked her husband. The constable from the neighboring town mediates a settlement. When Qiu Ju shows up to collect the money, the village chief insults her in this scene. (Many positive comments about this film)
Boyz in the Hood
It's exemplary in showing how conflicts escalate.
Babe demonstrates conflict styles. The goose is an avoider. Babe is a peacemaker. Rex is an agitator but is transformed. Fly is a conciliator/ accommodator, etc.
The Milagro Beanfield War
-I use it as an introduction to mediation. I use the scene where the Forest Service folks confront Joe Mondragon over a cow. Very entertaining and can be an excellent source of some good questions. Check the scene where the owner of the stolen cow goes to the thieves and the sheriff 'mediates' between the two.
Dead Man Walking
-is a wonderful illustration of what mistakes can be made in mediation between the "mediator" and stakeholders and ultimately the rewards of fixing those mistakes.
Disclosure Watch out for 'Disclosure,' with Michael Douglas and Demi Moore ....
They have an arbitration proceeding, but call it mediation.
The movie Mumford is about listening and thus relates to mediation in a way.
-about the Cuban missile crisis. Basically, the whole movie has lots of good negotiations. The Rainmaker I use the scene where the Judge and the experienced attorney are working the new kid on the block. Truly a great display of mediation.
Glengarry Glen Ross
-You might take a look at Glengarry Glen Ross, the film of the David Mamet play about hustling real estate salesmen. Funny, and dark, dialogue about the artlcraft of selling.
Holy Grail and Life of Brian
-Monty Python's Holy Grail and Life of Brian have several negotiation scenes. All very funny!
-the Denzel Washington film -has a good scene to illustrate reframing
-I use a clip from the Devil's Advocate when Al Pacino first meets Kean u Reeves. Reeves ask "Are we negotiating." Pacino responds "always." This drives home the point that we negotiate about 50% of our waking time.
Star Trek -The Next Generation -Loud as a Whisper (Episode #32)
Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise are on a mission to bring Reva, the finest mediator in the galaxy, to mediate with two factions that have been at war for fifteen centuries. Reva is known for two qualities; 1) he has "never failed" as a mediator; and 2) he is deaf and mute.
Everyone Loves Raymond
There is an excellent clip from "Everyone Loves Raymond" TV Show where the discussion is about negotiation. Raymond ends up mediating between his wife and daughter. Unfortunately, I don't have the clip or even the date of the show.