In 2019, the US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards. Based on the data of the news agency AP, the Oscar Awards ceremony was watched by 29.6 million TV viewers. Both before the glamorous parade of movie stars and after it the best films, film directors, actors, the creators of the most genuine screenplays, the best music, songs, special and audio effects were discussed by the mass media all over the world. However, the purpose of this article is not to discuss the number of Oscars one or another film won but to try to reveal how the content of nominated films could be important for adult educators who work with young adults.
Perhaps the easiest way to start a conversation on eternal values with the millennials by referring to biographies of music stars. Young people know the story of the music group Queen and its leader Freddy Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara) very well. It is depicted in the film the Bohemian Rhapsody directed by Bryan Singer and is an exciting story. The film reveals not only the glory and glamour of Freddy’s life but also his fallacies and disappointments.
The film begins with the words by Freddy’s father which are very important to him: “Good thoughts, good words, good deeds – that’s what you should aspire to”. However, just like many young people Freddy soon forgets the wisdom of his father’s words and delves into a dizzy career where his words are repeated by thousands of people in unison. The singer’s ability to think in an original unusual manner and to pursue his goal manifests itself through searching for new forms of music: though most people thought that a six-minute song comprised of scattered text was a bad idea, Freddy’s song conquered the world actually. Fame came to Freddy when he was unprepared for serious life challenges; the words: “He will always remain a scared boy of immigrant parents afraid of being left alone” insulted him; but the world music star suffered from loneliness and disappointment indeed. Only a sincerely careful friend of young days helped Freddy understand that people around him weren’t frank. Freddy has once said particularly meaningful metaphorical words: “You know when you know when you’ve gone rotten? When dirty little fruit flies come to feast on what’s left”.
Here the big turning-point comes. When it seems that AIDS has already taken all his life and his power, Freddy rallies: he gathers the group Queen again calling the musicians the “four aging queens”, he visits his parents and puts every effort to get the voice, which weakens due to the severe disease, recovered... He then says: “I’m going to be what I was born to be – a performer who gives the people what they want – touch of the heavens”. During a charity concert for Africa LIVE AID he again managed to control the crowd and “punch a hole in the sky”. At the end of the film, a symbolic phrase is reiterated “Good thoughts, good words, good deeds”, just like his father taught him.
Renata Jankevičienė has been working as a deputy director of Panevėžys district education centre since 2012; she has organised and coordinated local, regional, national and international projects designed for adult education. Presently she is a coordinator of projects MOVE-ON! and OUR DIGI SPACE under the Erasmus+ KA programme in Lithuania and an expert of the project MOV-UP! under the programme Erasmus+ KA3 and the project Pro-social Values under the programme Erasmus+ KA2. She publishes articles in regional, national and international media. Ms Jankevičienė has been an expert of the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe (EPALE) since 2019.