A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Messages of using political influence to shape the world for greater good and for future generations. Showcases a positive message and diplomatic perspective on the history and function of the Peace Corps. Themes of being of service, compassion, empathy, a focus on humanity. Also integrity, humility, perseverance, and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Politicians, heads of state, leaders use their platforms to encourage and support young Americans to volunteer for Peace Corps. President John F. Kennedy advocates and promotes positive international relations. American citizens volunteer to work in other countries and be of service. Political figures stand up for Peace Corps when other leaders attempt to diminish its influence and function.
Violence & Scariness
Talk of wars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps is a documentary directed by Alana DeJoseph that outlines the history of the Peace Corps. The documentary features testimonies, interviews, and recordings by notable figures including President John F. Kennedy, Harry Belafonte, President Jimmy Carter, Chris Dodd, Maria Shriver, and more. The movie has clear themes of the value of global citizenship, being of service, empathy, compassion, and humility. There's no nudity, violence (other than talk of war), swearing, substance use, or consumerism of note. The film is likely to appeal most to viewers with an interest in international relations, global policy, political history, and possibly even missionary work. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This timely, informative (if slow) documentary sheds light on a truly unique American agency and the goal of using it to create global citizens striving to make an impact on future generations. The film's overall tone is inspirational, and screenwriter Shana Kelly does a very detailed job of weaving together the personal experiences and testimonials of past and present volunteers, clearly creating correlations with the political climates of particular time periods and their direct impact on global cultures and communities. Not only does A Towering Task showcase the powerful function of the Peace Corps and its history, it also reveals the agency's many struggles, including its high leadership turnover.
Vanessa Carr's cinematography is a great asset to the film. Beautiful aerial shots capture unique locations around the world. A Towering Task is most likely to appeal to teens and young adults who are especially interested in international relations, global policy, and political history. The film also showcases the impact of positive social and global activism, encourages having empathy and compassion for all people, and lends itself to conversations and perspectives centered on the future of the world. At times, the documentary can drag -- and come across as promoting American nationalism. There's also a bit of an "American savior" complex in play. But in other moments, it's genuinely engaging as it depicts the original motives for establishing the Peace Corps.
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