A look at courage through film

September 2, 2014 | 9:59 AM

The Humanities Film Series continues this year with “Perspectives on Moral Courage.” The series invites the Jacksonville community to participate in discussions, led by MacMurray and Illinois College faculty, about films that the moderators have chosen to reveal the human condition, particularly depictions of moral courage.

The films are:

Thursday, Sept. 18, 6:30 pm

Swing Kids -- The film deals with a group of close friends prior to the seizure of power by the Nazi party in Germany. a youthful rebellion takes on the passionate interest for American swing music, which is explicitly prohibited by the Nazis. This causes many trials that will test their loyalties and beliefs through extremely trying times.

Moderator: Bernd Estabrook, professor of German, Illinois College         

Thursday, Oct. 23, 6:30 pm

The Ox-Bow Incident – This Academy Award nominee uses the backdrop of a Western to both explore the darker side of human nature and to consider what would happen if a majority were allowed to drown out the voices of dissent.

Moderator: Chris Strangeman, assistant professor of history, MacMurray College


Thursday, Nov. 20, 6:30 pm

Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta) --  Ernesto Guevara, the son of middle class Argentine parents, witnessed exploitation while riding across Latin America and decided that he had to do something to help end it. This leads him to revolutionary activities and confrontation with the brutal exploitation of indigenous people and peasants at the hands of the white, wealthy elites. How should we respond to injustice when we see it? 

Moderator: Steven Gardner, professor of Spanish, Illinois College


Thursday, Feb. 19, 6:30 pm

A Man for All Seasons – Set in the court of Henry VIII, this film traces the strategies adopted by Henry’s chancellor, Sir Thomas More, in a desperate attempt to keep his head from Henry’s chopping block while maintaining the integrity of his own conscience. This brilliant study of wit, grace, and courage under political and social fire shows an inspiring profile in moral courage.

Moderator: Robert Seufert, emeritus professor of English, MacMurray College


Thursday, March 19, 6:30 pm

Valkyrie – The film is a dramatization of the July 1944 plot by several German generals to assassinate Adolph Hitler during the Second World War. As hope for victory faded and the extent of Hitler’s war crimes became evident, these men risked their lives – and their families – to stop the dictator. Each of the conspirators was confronted with moral choices that tested his integrity and courage.

Moderator: Robert Kunath, professor of history, Illinois College


Thursday, April 16, 6:30 pm

Even the Rain –Columbus sets out on his first journey to the new world as this film tackles the complicated nature of that conquest. His journey allows us to consider the behavior of the conquistadors, along with our own behavior in the world resources market.

Moderator: Jim Chelsvig, adjunct professor of history, MacMurray College; social studies teacher, Jacksonville High School


The series is co-sponsored by MacMurray College, Illinois College, and the Jacksonville Public Library. All sessions will be held in the basement of the Jacksonville Public Library at 201 W. College Avenue. The events are free and are open to the public.

For more information, please contact

John Honnen, New Media Coordinator
Work: 217-479-7181 | Cell: 217-491-2110
Email: Send Email

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