Spring Film Series: An Invitation to Open your Mind


Courtesy of the Rockhurst Philosophy department

Santiago Rodriguez, Reporter

As a new semester commences, the Rockhurst community is showcasing different scholars and poets that will make an appearance in the Arrupe Auditorium throughout the next few months. This continues both the tradition of the Visiting Scholar Lecture Series speakers and the Midwest Poets Series readers, which date back to 1955 and 1983, respectively. Admirable minds —such as KU associate professor of psychology Steven Ilardi and recognized poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi— are set up to delve into topics that range from the modern role of poetry to the peculiarities of homelessness.

Apart from these lectures, the calendar also includes the Film Series, hosted by the philosophy department. Students, faculty and staff are invited to join a free screening of films dealing with prominent issues and a reflection-based, guided discussion that follows them. There are two movies remaining, and they are planned to begin at 7pm on the next two Tuesdays.

Robert Vigliotti, associate professor of philosophy at Rockhurst, is the director of the series. He urges everyone to come and stimulate the mind with some unconventional and absorbing topics. “Narrative has a direct and deeper impact on people. To be able to tell a story with beauty and excitement helps to better communicate ideas and see modern issues in a different way,” Vigliotti said.

The Film Series began with the movie “Parasite” on Feb. 8. This critically acclaimed South Korean film showed how class and greed can manipulate the peculiar relationship between a wealthy family and a destitute clan. Most spectators were positively surprised with the development of the movie, which seemed at first to be predictable and resulted in one of the most eye-opening conclusions they have ever seen.

Sabrina Diaz, who is currently a junior majoring in biochemistry, said that the movie helped her to reflect on her own life situation. “It was a very informative and realistic film,” she added.

John Morris, a faculty member of the philosophy department, guided the discussion proceeding the screening. During the discussion, he spoke on how paradigms, such as social mobility, progress, and hope were questioned. Even though the viewers examined the same movie, they got out different conclusions from it.

When asked about his opinion, Morris said, “It is very useful to gather students and faculty and make them engage in activities that stimulate freedom of thought. Philosophy and film are a natural fit; while a movie can entertain you, it can also open up your mind to thoughts that you may not have in your own.”

The series continued Feb. 15, with the screening of “Eye in the Sky”. The movie stars Alan Rickman and Hellen Mirren, who portray military officers who deal with ethical decisions during a drone missile strike mission in Kenya. The viewing was accompanied by a conversation guided by another philosophy professor, Stephen Chamberlain. After this, the Film Series will conclude with “Contact” on Feb. 22.

As always, the showings are free and open to the public. Those interested should sign up in advance and reserve two hours of their Tuesday nights. For any further information, people can call the Center for Arts and Letters at (816) 501-4607 or email [email protected].