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Live Class: Movies and Meaning


Study the art and history of motion pictures while learning how to examine what you watch from a biblical perspective. Join David Webb, author of Apologia’s award-winning “What We Believe” series, as he equips you to engage your brain and guard your heart when watching Hollywood movies. 

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
– Philippians 4:8

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. – Proverbs 4:23

GRADE LEVEL: 8th – 12th & Adults (recommended)
CLASS DATES: Aug 22, 2024-May 8, 2025
TIME: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm ET

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David Webb photo


David Webb

Biblical Worldview

David Webb is co-author of the What We Believe series, Apologia’s award-winning biblical worldview curriculum. A former film industry professional, David has spent three decades in the publishing field, developing books and resources with many of today’s leading Christian authors and educators.

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This course explores the art and history of motion pictures, from their silent beginnings to the Golden Age of Hollywood to the present day. We will discuss how movies are made, how the American film industry has adapted and changed with the times, and how movies have changed us, the audience. As we examine a different film each week from a biblical perspective, students will also learn how to understand what a movie is really saying through the filmmakers’ use of story, style, themes, and images. They will learn to think and talk about a film in a way that goes beyond its entertainment value, enabling them to affect the cultural conversation as media-wise Christians. Given the power of movies to persuade and entertain, this course will equip students to engage their brains and guard their hearts when the lights go down.

Prerequisites: None
Course Credit: One High School Elective Credit


View or download the class syllabus.

View Syllabus

Required Class Materials

  • No textbook is required. PDFs of assigned reading will be provided each week. 
  • Students will be assigned a specific film to watch outside of class each week. A list of streaming services carrying the film will be provided, but students’ families will be responsible for any rental fees or purchases required to watch the film (typically $2.99–$3.99 on Amazon or YouTube). Some of the titles may be available on DVD or Blu-ray from your local library.

Course Topics

  • The history of motion pictures, with an emphasis on American cinema
  • The birth of the film industry, the golden age of movie studios, the fall of the studio system, and how the industry operates today
  • A close-up look at movie genres, including musicals, westerns, science fiction, animation, film noir, comedy, and others
  • Appreciating the art and craft of film production—costume design, editing, cinematography, visual effects, music, writing, acting, directing, and more

Course Specifics

Weekly homework includes finishing the assigned reading, screening the required film, and completing a short-answer assignment.

A complete list of this year’s films will be made available prior to the first class. Most of the movies will be classics produced prior to the implementation of the rating system.

NOTE: Assigned movies may deal with adult themes or subject matter, but NO R-rated films will be assigned. 

Recorded Classes

All classes are video recorded and available for students to watch later so they don’t miss any instruction.

International Students

We welcome international students from across the world. Please note that all classes are taught in the Eastern time zone. 

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Terms and Conditions

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