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One of the most enduring and perhaps endearing human traits is story telling.  In the early days of humanity, people passed important learned information from one generation to another by telling each other stories.  Many times, these stories took the form of songs or ballads.  As time passed, humans created symbols to represent key elements of these stories or oral traditions.  Eventually written languages were developed and a new way of communicating stories spread over the continents.  Stories were written down on media that could last longer than a single person's lifetime.  Many different things were written about:  histories, philosophies, recipes, records of discovery.  This has been the way stories have been told for most of human history.  And then in the late 19th century, a new way of relating stories was introduced:  the movie.  First in the form of the nickelodeon, and now in its present form on the big screen and TV.  The the purpose of the story has not changed -- to teach while entertaining.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not putting Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on the same footing with Homer's Iliad or Aesop's Fables.  Some stories are more entertaining than informing, and vice-a-versa. 

Below you will find a list of stories that I think are important for different reasons.  Some are included for the most trivial of entertainment reasons, others because I believe there is an important lesson to be learned from them.  My favorite stories tend to be science-fiction because they are not confined by the restraints of reality. 


A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) - explores a child's love for a mother and a mothers love for a child. 
Black Hawk Down - a U.S. military intervention in Mogadishu, Somalia that went wrong.  For a soldier in the field, war is not about politics, it's about your buddy fighting next to you and making it out alive. 
Monty Python & the Search for the Holy Grail - British humor is damn funny, although not everyone will think so. 
The Patriot - a fictional look at our Nations war for Independence and what life was like during that period.
V - never forget the past.  This science-fiction story shows how fear and propaganda can be used to insidiously take control of a nation, a people, a planet.  When you watch this movie, you can see how Nazi Germany happened.
Enemy Mine - shows that enemies, no matter how different from each other, can become friends. 
Logan's Run - why it is important to question the status quo. 
The Planet of the Apes - this movie, has one of the most poignant endings of any movie I've ever seen. 
Star Trek (all of the series and all of the movies) - in a cumulative sense these stories show an optimism about humanity's future where we have risen above many of the social issues that we currently face. 
Phenomenon - what it is like to be different.  When you have a special gift, when you are different from others, 
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Last updated: 10/10/02