Staff Picks

What We’re Watching

Dim the lights and get ready to learn with these TT-approved films!

A Conversation on Race | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine

A Conversation on Race: A Series of Short Films About Race in America

As the United States grapples with how to talk about race, The New York Times’ series of short documentaries, A Conversation on Race: A Series of Short Films About Race in America, features eight powerful videos on the subject. In the first seven, people discuss their experiences and understanding of race as it relates to their Asian, black, Latinx, Native or white identities. In the eighth, a diverse group of police officers share their insights on policing and race. Discussions about race require vulnerability and are often filled with raw emotion. However, because these videos are filmed as concise personal testimonies, there is room for the viewer to both feel the emotion and practice listening to an often silenced or dismissed voice, opening the door to meaningful and lasting dialogue. (5-6 min.)

Middle and High School // Professional Development



Mudbound | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine

Mudbound, a film by Dee Rees, takes a hard but necessary look at the United States following World War II. Set against the backdrop of rural Mississippi, the film’s themes of race, class and trauma intersect and are realized through the stories of a black family and a white family bound to the same plot of land. This film offers a glimpse into how the promise of the American Dream for some became a cruelly denied, prolonged nightmare for others who pursued it across lines of class and racial difference. Examining the legacy of slavery in the United States, Mudbound traces its impact on the descendants who found themselves bound to the same caste—and often to the same land—their ancestors lived and died for. (135 min.)*

* We recommend this film as a professional development opportunity, but educators should note that it has received an MPAA rating of R for “some disturbing violence, brief language and nudity.” 

Professional Development 


The Breadwinner

Breadwinner | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine

Lovely, heartbreaking and inspiring by turns, The Breadwinner tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl living under Taliban rule in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2001. After her father is arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy so she can support her family by working as a reader and writer in the public market. The film intertwines Parvana’s unfolding understanding of her place within her family and her community with an unflinching exploration of grief and mourning, offering students a valuable starting point for discussions about trauma, identity, history and equity. Although the movie was produced by the same studio (and animated in the same style) as The Secret of Kells and The Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner is rated PG-13 for violence. (93 min.)

Middle and High School // Professional Development 

In “What We’re Watching,” we try to spotlight films that may not yet have attracted your attention. But the 2017-18 school year also saw the release of some blockbuster hits that left us cheering. Here are a few:

Love, Simon | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine

Love, Simon

For the first time, a rom-com from a major motion picture studio is helping gay and bi teens feel seen—and celebrated. Read more about what this film meant to TT Senior Writer Cory Collins: What Love, Simon Can Teach Us About Classroom Conversations.

Black Panther | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine

Black Panther

You’ve seen the movie and read the reviews. But have you seen these incredible photographs of kids watching the film?

A Wrinkle in Time | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine

A Wrinkle in Time

For a first-class (and delightfully costumed) lesson in “windows and mirrors,” keep an eye on Mindy Kaling’s Mrs. Who, who speaks mostly in quotations.

Wonder | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine


If you’re discussing this heartwarming film about a child with craniofacial difference with your students, consider sharing reviews that include the voices of other kids with facial differences

Coco | TT59 What We're Watching | Summer 2018 Magazine


We say representation matters. Coco illustrates it—with Mexican culture as both a beautiful backdrop and the centerpiece of the plot.