Therapeutic Movies: Movies That Change Lives

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Therapeutic Movies: Movies That Change Lives - Photo credit:  Edition by Amber255 via

People have long loved stories. They were telling real or fictional and always been who listening to them. The film is also a story, only with the help of modern technical means, in a visual language. We can watch them because the movies we like, but we can also because their story or certain episodes are close to our survived feelings. The film that impressed you a lot is like a key to the human subconscious - just like his dreamy and memorable dream, like a fairy tale in childhood.

There are over 400 types of psychotherapy in the world. Not only books, music, drawing, dance, animals, communication, but also movies can have healing effects. Films affect the viewer through imagination, symbols, and metaphors, affect both emotions and mind. The image and sound trigger our feelings, attract us by the plot and deeper archetypal or philosophical meaning of the film.

When I choose to watch recommended movies, I do not search for ones awarded as many Oscars as possible. Of course, good directing and acting are great, but it is more important that the work responds to the hard situation of people, life or motivate to change something in life. I do not like films that sort out the world and do not show it as a whole, where everything is black, or only white. The world is full of colors and shades.

Movies can help us to better understand our own lives, the lives of those around us and even how our society and culture operate. They can shed light on spiritual matters too and can provide catharsis and perspective and may open our eyes to new ways of thinking, feeling and pursuing our lives. There are many ways to harness the power of movies to heal, grow and change. Movies have been used as an adjunct to psychotherapy and counseling as well as by themselves. 


The Therapeutic Effect Of The Films

Many people could name a film that changed their lives, though did not think too much about why. Usually, people watch movies for entertainment, but their choice is very eloquent. A memorable film for a human being is undoubtedly important; it can help to show his deepest thoughts, feelings, and patterns of behavior that help or hinder a good feeling. After knowing these interferences, you can try to change behavior and live happier.

A proper film that is relevant to man helps to find the inner resources and to cope with the challenges of everyday life.

The film, as a visual metaphor, allows us to discover and experience the value of our life. In this sense, the impressed us film will work better than 100 tips. Because artistic language reaches the heart of man more than anything else.

There are situations in life when a person tortures himself without finding the answer to what is happening in his soul. While watching a movie on a topic of importance to himself, he can see a variety of scenarios for solving his problem. Sometimes the simple naming of a problem is enough for a person to find the power to do something.


Movie Therapy - Photo credit:

The film transmits the hidden meaning, so it is very important to understand what in the human being he awakens - old grief, frustrations, self-mutilation, a feeling that you cannot change anything or the wish to live, to change, to create, to awaken adequate perception of reality, hope.

The film can give hope and optimism to everyone. Even if the viewer disagrees with some of the actors' actions, he may question: What would I do differently in this situation? And that will be the therapeutic effect of the film. The viewer believes that acting otherwise, he can achieve a happy ending. When the film matches man's situation, he emotionally identifies himself with the actors and is more willing to change something in his personal life.

Movies that clearly show personage's' maturity, spiritual growth, or positive changes help them to make a difference in our lives.

I already wrote about inspiring movies, and now I want to share five films that may are therapeutic - movies that change lives. Although the film, like a book, will have a therapeutic effect only when the story of a person is something real, meaningful, and understandable.

 In Cinema Therapy, or what has also been called Reel Therapy or Movie Therapy, clients learn to watch movies consciously and reflectively and to pay attention to the story and to themselves. They then learn to understand themselves and others more objectively in the big "movie" of their lives. 


AMELIE - 2001

The film AMELIE is a film of simplicity and love for life, whose main character with wide opened eyes radiates love and tranquility between the gloomy faces surrounding her.

All the events taking place in our world, even the most insignificant, interconnect in the most amazing and miraculous way. Like the strange and, at first glance, incomprehensible actions of a quiet and lonely girl living in a world of her fantasies. She can forever change the life of completely different people, giving them happiness and coloring the surrounding world of bright, dizzying colors. This girl's name is Amelie, and one of the best French directors Jean-Pierre Genet tell us about her in his new film.

Amelie is a charming and slightly strange girl in Paris. She works in a café, lives in a rented apartment in the Montmartre district, and feels very lonely. But one day, a mysterious box that she found unexpectedly, changes the girl's life. After seeing the joy of the box owner, Amelia decides to help others who are fooled by fate and become a kind of fairy. Making good deeds, Amelia finds a diary album and falls in love with its owner. Though she doesn't know him, she still believes Nino is a man of her heart. Amelia comes up with a smart plan. 


The film AMELIE - Photo credit:

It's a film for those who do not lack the belief in romance and faith in life! Excellent positive energy just floods from it, and Audrey Tautou (Amelie) is great! It's a cute film, full of touching moments and symbolism, but behind the easy, simple picture are deep feelings.

The film inspires to make noble deeds and pushes for small feats for loved ones. If you want a miracle - make it first to others.

The film is about that if you do good deeds, it will come back like a boomerang to you. The fact that adult life is our childhood's reflection. And if in childhood parents had a pernicious influence, then it also affects us in adult life. How hard it is for us to get rid of the program inherent in us, sometimes it is almost impossible.


The film


Some people believe the film is like any art, should exalt a person, have the link to thinking, and charge with life-affirming energy. However, the films with all these advantages are increasingly leaving the big screen, making room for films whose only task is to entertain. But we easily find exceptions to the rules, and one of them is the movie THE KING’S SPEECH.

THE KING’S SPEECH, - a drama about King George VI directed by Tom Hooper, who, with willpower and speech therapist, who became his friend later, overcome his stuttering. At the same time, the film about human potential and the fruitful efforts.

The story of the stuttering king of England is a story of friendship. To behold how Geoffrey Rush slowly teaches Colin Firth to talk without fear and stutters while they are bonding, is a pleasure. Every scene between those two acting giants is pure gold.


This film tells of a scandal that hit the English monarchy at the beginning of the 20th century: King Edward VIII refuses his throne to marry an uneducated woman. The crown goes to Edward's brother George VI (Colin Firth). Unfortunately, the future monarch has a serious language disorder that seriously undermines the image of the ruler.

At the same time, the threat of the Third Reich is emerging in continental Europe. In such difficult circumstances, the gaze of the Empire's population deviates to the monarch, and they expect to hear encouraging and hopeful words. Unfortunately, George VI is not able to say anything short: he sticks and starts stuttering. The greatly dissatisfied monarch visit the therapist's office and faces a somewhat stubborn and non-formalistic Australian doctor.


THE KING’S SPEECH, trailer - Photo credit:

The doctor uses a multitude of unusual, and sometimes laughable, ways to cure George VI's disability. He understands that the king is stuttering for psychological reasons. He knows that George VI will overcome the language disorder only when he overcomes psychological problems, but both have long and hard work to do.

A pair of actors easily makes the film, which did not need any excessive scenery, nor many crowd scenes. The whole film is permeated with light sadness, empathy, and pleasant, soft humor.

THE KING'S SPEECH is, first, a film about the lack of freedom. King-stutter - these two polar concepts, put together, instantly give the story an unconventional sound. The life of the English king, trapped in the grip of many rules of decency and prohibitions, can only cause sympathy. This thought of the lack of freedom of the royal share shines through the picture with a bright background.

Separately, I mention that this problem is not so fictional as it may seem to many people. I could imagine what it is like when you cannot say a word (my father suffered from the language's stuttering).


THE KING’S SPEECH, trailer - Video credit: Transmission Films via


Who had not a day when one failure changes another, so get ready - a terrible, unfortunate failure story for the whole family is waiting for you.

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY - a comedy about a day of terrible experiences, one worse than other, happen to the main hero one after other. But when we cannot change the circumstances, we can change the attitude towards them.

A good boy, the eleven-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), finds himself in the worst day of life. Everything that day was not the way it meant to. The disappointment about this day for the boy is still fueled by dinner with the family. It turns out that they did well on that day. So, only Alexander is unfortunate in the family?!



 Soon everything will go upside down. And after the terrible day of Alexander, troubles came for other family members - brothers, sister, mother, dad. Soon, Alexander realizes that bad days are happening to everyone and at least once in a lifetime, they are in terrible, very terribly unsuccessful days, when everything goes out of hand and is not on the plan. And those who say that there are no such days, just haven't experienced them yet.

In this film, we see that in the Cooper family, all the members were busy with their lives, rarely spending time together. By experiencing all these troubles, the family gets closer, spend more time together, trying to sort out the problems of others, and help them solve them. Therefore, Alexander's wish to do terrible every day is quite understandable.

The film is able to cheer and enliven any person's mood, especially if it is rather pessimistic and does not allow this moment to enjoy life.

The film is very pleasing to the eye, with positive humor, a family oriented work that makes us smile, and we feel the warmth throughout the watching time by observing the arduous and rather witty situations of the characters appearing in the film.

If you had a hard day or things did not go the way you wanted, do not lose faith in the better times!




The Bucket List - inspirational and cheerfully sad story about two serious patients who have been friends in the ward of an oncological hospital and who want to make a list of things they want to do before they go outside. 

Two hard-working pensioners have left not so long to live. Millionaire Edward (Jack Nicholson) and mechanic Carter (Morgan Freeman) have to spend the last days of their lives in the same ward of sick people. Soon, both guys find out having the same wish to spend the rest of their time as they always dreamed of. Two men want to finally realize who they are and discover inner peace. Both witty escapes from the hospital and go on a journey full of adventure in search of the joy of life.


THE BUCKET LIST - Photo credit:

New friends have colorful and emotional days. In their ingenious program, buddies are even engaging in blood-racing car races, eating giant caviar portions, and gambling at Monte Carlo. Every friend's adventure means another plus in the list of their planned hikes. But the best is still waiting for them. Although there are more and more pluses in the list of wishes, it looks like there is no limit to their dreams. 

In this short period, a new life unfolds for them, filled, bright, dramatic, and comical, at the same time. Only a slight dysfunction reminds them of the disease.

The end of the film causes tears and regret the inevitable finiteness of life. It is sad to say goodbye, but it is even more sad to live someone else’s life, or as an observer. It is joyful that the heroes managed to make a powerful leap before eternal rest, rethink their values, gain friendship and complete their last gestalt with stormy ovations.

THE BUCKET LIST will appeal to lovers of subtle humor. In the film, black humor coincides with important philosophical, belief, and being themes.

Two movie stars have given even more sincerity, certainty, and wittiness to the film, and the film becomes a real ode to life and proof that the best time is here and now.

THE BUCKET LIST, Official Trailer - Video credit: Movieclips via

50/50, 2011

The film 50/50 - comedy that true story inspired. 27 years old man got to know about his cancer disease and start his fight for life.

 Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), 27 years old guy got a diagnosis of cancer. The young man tries to overcome this disease. The best friend Kyle helps him, and the girl Rachael reveals her true face. Adam is trying to overcome the difficulties and to keep relationships with others. He starts to visit a psychologist who can give more help than it seems at first sight. With the help of friends, family, and cancer center, Adam learns about the true and most important values of life.

The film is a compassionate tale of love and friendship while simultaneously being a raunchy pothead comedy. The overlap is strange, but it works incredibly well.


This film will play on your feelings, throwing you from pain and empathy to an unexpected laugh in such painful circumstances. It is as if you feel with your skin what it is like to find out that you have cancer.

Ordinary guy, ordinary life. And suddenly - You have cancer. What's next? How to live? You will fight and win or die? The film is very vital. It seems that these guys. They live somewhere near you, walk along the same streets and visit the same cafes, also work, rejoice and feel sad, love. Such films need to watch. So that the heart never stale. 


The film 50/50 - Photo credit:

The movie 50/50 is about love, not so much about love itself, as about its various manifestations, about loyalty and treason, about humanity, about true friendship, about despair, but the most important, this film is about believing in yourself and hope.

Difficult, experiential, sometimes very cheerful and very touching - this film will not leave anyone indifferent.

On The Final Note 

To define which movie is therapeutic and which is not, quite complicated. I would say that a therapeutic film is one that raises a human problem, shows internal contradictions and, perhaps, inspires the decision.

But there are films showing the problems and emphasizing the deadlock - they can also be therapeutic, as it forces us to look for internal resources to cope with what we cannot change. If the film has caused new thoughts or questions to the man - well. Hence, something awakened in us and moved from the dead spot. 

In my opinion, a therapeutic movie does not have to cause only pleasant feelings - after all, a difficult experience leads to the search for answers and constructive solutions. There are, of course, films that can cause strong and frightening feelings that one cannot deal with. Then we may talk about the negative effect of the film.


The quote from the movie THE BUCKET LIST - Photo credit:

When a person chooses what to watch - always a lottery. It may fit him, may not. If you do not like a movie, you can always turn it off and stop watching it. Unlike life.

Imagine creating a movie about your life - what's the title of this movie? What genre would it be - drama, tragedy, comedy, action, romantic, erotic, adventure? What actor could play your role? 

Enjoy watching!

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