The Giver is a gripping cautionary tale in the vein of young adult dystopian stories. Based on Lois Lowry’s award-winning novel of the same name, The Giver centers on Jonas, a young man living within a seemingly perfect community set in the distant future. There is no suffering or pain, no choices or emotions. Everyone submits to the code of Sameness, having never experienced joy or loss, death or family, courage or love.
Like the book, the movie adaptation of The Giver taps into some of the big questions people are asking every day. Questions that you might answer differently from your friends who haven’t yet experienced the transformative power of Christ. What does it mean to love? What if we could live without pain or war? What is the value of a human life? What is truth?
Watching the film together and then taking time to talk about some of these themes could provide some natural opportunities to talk about how the gospel has informed your answers to these questions.
Connecting over a film with a friend usually comes pretty easily, so let this conversation unfold naturally, too. Listen for cues and clues about your friend’s faith journey, and be ready to share about your own.
Here are some questions that got us talking after our viewing:
- What was your favorite scene? What was the most troubling?
- What the elder said about people always choosing wrong, choosing the things that cause harm and destruction – do you think it’s true?
- Would you be willing to give up your experience of joy and love if it meant you wouldn’t have to experience pain and death?
- Since we can’t shove them all out of our memories and experiences, how do you make sense of the awful things that happen in the world (murder, illnesses, war, brutality)?
For some people, the film might open up a desire to talk about the hard realities in life. God is there in the midst of it all, but sometimes people find it hard to believe in God because of the evil they see in the world. EveryStudent.com has some helpful articles, like
- Why Is Life So Hard?
- Peace of Mind in an Unstable World
- Facing the Great Inevitable
- Connecting With the Divine
You can find some tips on having evangelistic conversations in these videos.
We've also developed a Movie Discussion Guide that dives a little deeper into three main themes from the book. Perfect for use in group settings, the guide is available as a free resource.