What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Missing is the story of a father's search for his missing son after a right-wing coup in a South American country. There is violence in the form of gunshots and dead bodies, but unlike most violent films, the violence isn't intended to heighten action, but to underscore the deeper point of human rights abuses in a regime brought to power by the United States. By following Ed's discovery of what his government has been getting up to in a country where his son has been living, American foreign policy and the cruelties of dictatorships are brought into full focus. For parents familiar with American involvement in Latin America during the Cold War (and before), this film should provoke discussion about what government leaders say as opposed to what their governments actually do, and for families unfamiliar with this ugly chapter in South American history, Missing should prove a real eye-opener.
  • Families can talk about the violence in this film. What is the purpose of the violence portrayed? How does it underscore the message of the film?
  • Ed goes through profound changes over the course of the movie. How is his character presented early in the film, and what actions cause him to evolve?
  • What is film's role in politics? Can filmmakers use art for positive change? What about negative change? Or should film be purely for entertainment?
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