Disenchanted by the church and his devout Christian mother, 19 year-old Donald escapes Texas for the liberal Northwest and attends Reed College at the urging of his secular father. At Reed College, Don finds that his classmates, from all walks of life, are more anti-religious and anti-everything than he was prepared for. In an attempt to fit in, and more importantly, in an attempt to find himself, Don joins an activist group which forces him to question what he really believes in.
Read review from The Huffington Post
Questions For Discussion
- Is the movie a cartoonish comedy about college life or a serious commentary of losing your cultural religion to find a truer faith?
- Voiceover: “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.” How was Don mentored?
- What do you think of the “blue like jazz” metaphor? Is life like unresolved jazz or a cosmic symphony often beyond our comprehension?
- Dissect the scene at the end in the confession booth. What happened there? What did Don realize? Is apologizing for Christianity a healthy way to start a dialogue with doubters?
- Offer a biblical parallel (or echo) to a scene or theme from the movie.
- Have you ever felt you had to choose between what you believe and belonging (or fitting in)? How did you respond?
- In the Huffington Post review in the link above, the writer talks about the movie being about losing religion and finding that Jesus is in the world. How does this compare with your experience of religion, and of Jesus?