ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The One Movie That Needs To Be Shown In Classrooms Across America

Updated on October 21, 2013

Showing films in class can be fun, inspiring and educational. Sadly, most films that are approved to show kids are rated PG or are out-dated educational films that bore more than they inspire.

...and in some cases, just terrify to an unbelievable extent.
...and in some cases, just terrify to an unbelievable extent.

I am here to discuss one film in particular that would be used to educate young children about the dangers of drug use. That Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For A Dream.
Requiem For A Dream is a brutal fictional film with a hard "R" rating about a young couple, their best friend, and a lonely old woman whose lives are ripped to shreds by various drug abuses.The young couple and their friend use heroin and the old woman becomes dependent on stimulants in the form of diet pills.
Aronofsky pulls no punches and uses a wide variety of camera techniques to show the intense and terrifying effect of each character's downfall. It is by no means funny or whimsical like other drug-related films such as Trainspotting. No, this is as dark and bleak a story as it gets and never romanticizes the use of drugs for recreational use or the abuse of prescription drugs. I have never done hard drugs in my life and I feel that watching Requiem For A Dream was a big factor in my decision to refrain.

I do, however, snort powdered Oreos.
I do, however, snort powdered Oreos.

To sum up the film briefly for any educators reading this:
Released in 2000, Requiem For A Dream tells the story of Harry Goldfarb (Jared Leto), a young heroin junkie who begins dealing the drug in Coney Island with his girlfriend, Marion (Jennifer Connelly) and his best friend, Tyrone (Marlon Wayans). Meanwhile, Harry's mother, Sara Goldfarb (Ellen Burstyn, in one of the most amazing performances of any movie ever), a lonely elderly woman, wins a chance to appear on her favorite TV show and becomes obsessed with losing weight before her appearance. After conventional exercise and dieting prove too slow, she turns to prescription diet pills and begins a slow descent into a maddening dependency on the drugs that leads to her losing the TV opportunity and requiring electroshock therapy.
Harry, Marion and Tyrone's worlds all begin to collapse as well, eventually leading to Harry and Marion splitting up, with Marion turning to prostitution to support her habit. Harry and Tyrone are arrested and sent to prison and Harry gets a severe infection from a heroin needle, leading to his arm needing amputating.

"Yeah, I don't think Neosporin is gonna help on this one."
"Yeah, I don't think Neosporin is gonna help on this one."

The imagery in Requiem For A Dream is not for the faint-of-heart and that is exactly the reason the film should be allowed in schools. It pulls no punches and never portrays the idea of using drugs as cool or hip.
Remember the anti-drug program D.A.R.E.? Well, research showed that the program had the opposite effect and more kids started using drugs. The "Just Say NO" approach did not work. As a kid who was subjected to D.A.R.E. on more than one occasion, I can tell you the program was boring and treated kids like idiots, as if just saying "NO" would ever be enough to reject a life of drugs. Now imagine if you showed a room full of impressionable children this:

That was the end result of 4 lives wasted. Even out of context, as this is, it's easy to get a sense of dread watching these lives get destroyed. That's the message of the film and the message that kids both need to hear, and need to experience. It is my firm belief that if schools grew the cajones to show this in classrooms across America or, even better, if parents watched it at home with their young children and discussed it with them afterwards, then kids would be scared far too sh*#less to be trying any narcotics anytime soon.

The sad truth is though, that here in America, we don't have the courage to show our children this kind of powerful material.

Poll Time!

If you were a parent (or are one now), would you allow your kids to watch this movie?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)