With our discussion assignments, I thought I would do something fun, interesting

With our discussion assignments, I thought I would do something fun, interesting, and different. So, for this class, I wanted to combine elements of Hollywood and film with Religion. So often, filmmakers and storytellers look to religion and their traditions for inspiration or adaptation. So, in that spirit, I wanted to do a fun discussion post where we look at a Hollywood film that was inspired by a religious tradition to discuss what we see.
For our lecture material this week, we have been reading and learning about the religion of Hinduism. In 2000, famous actor and director Robert Redford released a sports film entitled The Legend of Bagger VanceLinks to an external site.. Starring Will Smith, Matt Damon, and Charlize Theron, this film was based on a traumatized World War I veteran named Rannulph Junuh, played by Matt Damon, who was a great golfer but was haunted by the horrors of war and the Great Depression. He encounters a mysterious stranger named Bagger Vance, played by Will Smith, who convinces Junuh to play in this golf tournament in order to confront his demons and restore Adele’s, played by Theron, lost fortune by winning the 10k grand prize. Talk about a great cast; right!?! Wrong; the movie was a box office bomb – not many people went to see it.
However, I was fascinated by this movie as it was an adaptation of a book of the same nameLinks to an external site.. The author of the book, Steven Pressfield, sought to make a modern adaptation of one of his favorite religious stories – the story of Krishna and Arjuna from the Bhagavad Gita.
The Bhagavad Gita is a revered religious text of Hinduism and comprises of an important section of the Mahabharata—a very important Sanskrit epic. The Gita recounts a dialogue between the Pandava warrior Arjuna and his charioteer, Krishna, who is an incarnation of Vishnu. As the Pandavas and the Kauravas prepare for war against each other, Arjuna grapples with various moral dilemmas like: “How can I kill my family and loved ones on the other side of the conflict or even kill complete strangers who have never personally wronged me?” Krishna consoles and advises Arjuna regarding the true nature of karma, righteousness, dharma, and atman. The Gita emphasizes fulfilling responsibilities without concern for attachment or outcome of reward, and it instead presents the path to enlightenment: knowledge, devotion, and selfless action.
The story of The Legend of Bagger Vance is an allegory of this great Hindu text, and it uses the metaphor of golf to share the wisdom found in the Bhavagad GitaLinks to an external site. to Western audiences. While the Gita’s setting for the story is a battlefield, the author and director the film seeks to modernize it through sports.
Now, for this Discussion Post, I wish for students to review the video clip provided below (students can also consult the section of religious text that this scene is based on for clues).
And, from the video clip, I would like students to match scenes and dialogues from the film with various key terms regarding our world religion topic in this module – Hinduism.
I have provided a list of key terms that I wish for you to discuss. Your first post needs to be your interpretation of the video clip in relationship to the religious terms provided. Next, you will need to read through your classmates’ initial discussions and choose two posts that resonate with you. Make a post on their thread and offer a different perspective. Engage in thoughtful conversation by building upon their ideas by providing additional examples or interpretations.
Remember to maintain a respectful and constructive tone throughout your replies. And, remember that this exercise is meant to be fun and interesting, and it is designed to help you apply what you have learned to these scenes on film. There are no right or wrong answers; so be engaging.