Movies with Meaning – Considering Cultures

This week a note. I like to choose to have only enough Structure to allow #Flow, and it feels to me that having set themes for my posts on Fridays (Smashing Paradigms), Saturdays (Writing I love) and Sundays (Movies with Meaning) is now too structured, so after this week I’m dropping that structure and such posts will be more sporadic and come as things #Flow !

Weekly series. Do please send suggestions via email, twitter etc. You can send a theme and/or specific movies. Each week’s post features three movies with meaning, so send in a movie with a sentence or two on the core meaning you take from it and a clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning….

Last week my weekly “Movies with Meanings” post talked about Culture in business. This week I’m musing on Culture from different countries and other “tribes”.

We are all humans, it is our infinite variety that makes us special. No one person is any better than another, no country, no religion, no orientation, ethnicity.

As Jamaicans would say, “out of many, one people”. One Love!

So, as a Scot living in London, a short (1″) video published this week gave me such goosebumps, such pride to be associated with that wonderful, rich country, as the video stood out as vividly different from the “us vs them” tone of the UK Government, the “hostile environment” they’ve created for anybody who isn’t “like us”.

“Scotland’s not for standing still, it’s for standing up. Standing up for those who’d call this land their home. Standing up for those we’re proud to call our own.”

For more on building Scotland’s fair and inclusive society, visit

So, the video and my reaction to it also got me to thinking about what Scots are known for. Perhaps something for another blog, but I’d say, having worked in so many countries around the world and discussed this, that Scots are known for such timeless values as honesty, integrity and, as the video so clearly shows, fairness.

You can trust a Scot.

In our disrupted and disturbed world, trust is a rare gift to earn and possess.

Anyway, to a few favourite movies reflecting different cultures in different ways.

Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983)

One of my favourite all time movies, with stunning acting from Tom Conti and David Bowie, and the beauty of the song “Forbidden Colours” by Ryuchi Sakamoto.

A movie set in a Japanese POW camp showing visceral contrasts between British and Japanese cultures.

The Water Diviner (2014)

Riffing off the military link in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, next is this movie about an Australian son going to Turkey to find the graves of his sons who died at Gallipoli.

What struck me most was the way in which the commitment of that father to the memory of his boys touched the honour of the Turkish military officer, speaking to the importance of honour and family to him and his culture

Local Hero (1983)

And finally, back to the land of my birth, Scotland.

One of my favourite movies ever, Local Hero.

Culturally a focus on contrasts between American corporate oil men and the folk of the highlands. Warm, funny, romantic in the truest sense.

Thank you for visiting my website

People are my library, my daily writing a way to discover what’s in it: ideas, inspiration, wisdom, and a little fun. As your humble librarian, I invite you to subscribe to check out a digest of daily emails emailed twice each week. No late fees, ever.