Basement Films: Parental Dogma

Sean Strain

So after my rant last week, I have to admit that I did get some movie recommendation out of the Oscars. As I have mentioned before, I have a penchant for foreign films as I find them much more interesting than mainstream films in America. One foreign film that wa nominated at this year’s Oscars was the film Dogtooth.

Dogtooth is a Greek film about a couple who raise their three children in ignorance of the outside world. They teach them that words such as “sea” is actually a leather chair. They also tell the “children” (they’re really adult who seem to be trapped in a childish mindset thanks to their parents’ upbringing) that they can’t leave until they lose their “dogtooth” or canine and that the only safe way to leave is in the car, which they can’t learn to drive until their dogtooth grows back.

This film makes me think of our recent visitors, the Westboro Baptist Church, which is made of only one family in it congregation. It’s highly likely that they home school all their children and inoculate them into their way of thinking. The WBC may not be so extreme that they teach their children they can’t go outside unless they are in a car, but they probably have kept them from any shred of evidence that contradicts their teaching.

I feel if you have any intention of doing this to your children, then you should probably be sterilized. Children are not meant to be carbon copies of you or parrots that spew your beliefs back out. They are a separate individual that that you gave life and helped raise, but one day they will have a life beyond you.

My friend had a wonderful idea about raising children if she ever has one. She wants to have a copy of the religious text from every belief system, allow her children to read them, and let them choose which one best fits their beliefs. I think this is a wonderful idea as it allows them to develop their own beliefs and ideas. I think parents need to encourage children to find their own meaning in the world around them instead of spoon-feeding the same rhetoric their parents passed down to them.