What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Railway Man centers on an ex-soldier (Colin Firth) who was emotionally scarred by his years in a Japanese POW camp during WWII, to the point where he sometimes still imagines his captors are with him, decades later, torturing him anew. Nicole Kidman co-stars as his wife, who doesn't know how to handle these demons from the past when they rear their ugly heads -- in scenes that are likely too harrowing and intense for younger viewers. One scene also shows a character after having committed suicide. There's also some flirting, kissing, and social drinking, but the main issue of concern are the many scenes of POW torture. Themes of revenge and sacrifice are explored.
  • Families can talk about The Railway Man's violence. How do the scenes of torture seen here compare to what you might seen in a horror movie? Which has more impact? Why? Does the movie need to be as graphic as it is to make its point?
  • How does Eric react when he finally meets the man who tortured him during the war? Would you have made the same choice? What message does the movie ultimately send?
  • Why won't Eric tell his wife about his wartime experiences? How does that affect their relationship? Does it seem realistic?
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