Informed Change: Exploring the Use of Persuasive Communication of Indigenous Cultures Through Film Narratives

Sonja H Bickford, Michelle Warren
Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline  •  Volume 23  •  2020  •  pp. 107-118

There is a need to find a way to utilize narrative storytelling in film to make students more aware of the impacts of global problems and how they are perceived.

Two films from the year 2015 from two very different places in the world explore the encroachment and secondary effects of urban civilization upon indigenous cultures.

An interpretive, qualitative, methodology was used in addressing and discussing the use of these two films as a persuasive communication teaching aid.

This paper offers an approach to using narratives of films on indigenous issues in education to inform students about real-world issues and the wide impacts of those on various cultures and populations.

Through the discussion of the two films, we suggest that using films with indigenous themes is beneficial to a course curriculum in a variety of subjects from communication to history and politics, to help students visualize the problems at hand. Anecdotally, the authors note that students are more engaged and willing to discuss topics if they have watched films or clips that deal with those topics than if they have simply read about them.

Technology and use of visuals are used as teaching tools in a variety of fields. Film narratives can be used as a teaching tool in multiple fields and provide insight about a variety of ideas. Identifying films such as those with indigenous themes provides an example of how one film can bring up multiple, real-world, topics and through led discussion student reflection can potentially lead to self-insights and have lasting impacts.

Additional research and assessment can be done on the impact of teaching with films and their compelling story telling of issues, and what types of questions should be asked to maximize learning and the impact of film narratives.

indigenous, communication, reflection, education, film, urban development
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