Nov 18, 2010

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Lost In Translation

One of my favorite movies to discuss cultural sensitivity in one of the classes I teach is the 2004 Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta Jones  film, The Terminal.  In the movie, a traveler from the conflict laden country Krakozhia is denied entry to the United States, and because his country (in effect) no longer existed, he could not be returned to his native land, thus leaving him stuck at New York’s JFK Terminal. In order to survive, he had to utilize the facilities of the airport and make friends with the people who worked various airport jobs around him, such as the janitors, fast food workers and even the customs officials.

I liked how the film highlighted that we often get so caught up in the way we are taught to think by society and we are limited by that from time to time. In class, I remind my students to not always get lost in translation and to be able to keep an open and more flexible mind about people and things around them.

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