for groups and individuals
Women in films
Stage 1: Make up a list
List your favorite films about
family relationships. You can choose
recent films or classics. If this is a group activity, it's better to choose films most
explores the complex web of relationships between people
2: Glance over your list
Have you chosen films that are realistic, showing the nitty-gritty of
family life, or do you prefer films that are inspiring/uplifting?
Do your favorites have both these qualities?
What does this say about you and what you need in a story?
3: Choose your favorite
What are the central relationships in this film? Mother/daughter,
father/son, friends, sisters, etc?
Is the relationship shown in a realistic light?
Do any of the scenes remind you of your own life or experiences?
7. Or does the film express what you would
like to have in your own relationships?
4: Think about your choices
activity: discuss these questions, making sure everyone in the group has
a chance to talk about their ideas.
activity: sit down for a few minutes and focus your mind; make a quick
list of your favorites; read through the Stage 3 questions, and think
about them while you do other tasks in your day.
about loyalty and friendship
Can you name them?
Can you see a connection with
(see 'Ruth') Can you think of others?
Debate: Marriage: arranged, or for love?
Topic: 'that arranged marriages have a better chance of success than marriages for love’.
The debate can be as formal (with a panel of judges and an audience) or
informal (around the kitchen table) as you wish.
Divide into two groups, one to argue for the statement, one to argue against.
Make a list of points that support your argument, and points the other side
Decide who will speak on behalf of the group.
Nominate a chairperson to regulate the debate. You may also have a panel of
judges if this is a formal debate.
Find out the rules for debating; make sure
everyone knows these rules.
Hold the debate.
Listen to feedback from each person who spoke.
Have a debriefing session where members of the team speak about the experience,
with appropriate feedback and opinions.
defense of a good woman
The story of
Ruth is set in the period of the Judges before the birth of King David,
when the Jewish tribes were battling for survival.
But it was
almost certainly written much later, after the exile in Babylon, when the
Jewish people had returned to Jerusalem an were trying to re-establish
their identity. At that time the leaders of the people decreed that
The Book of
Ruth is a protest against these new laws. It describes a foreign woman
(Ruth) who was not only a loyal member of a Jewish family, but an
ancestress of King David, the great national hero of the Jewish people.
Read Ruth's story in the Book of Ruth
Contrast it with the stories of other foreign women, such as
an autocratic queen who dominated her husband King Ahab, or
Wife, a sexually promiscuous Egyptian.
questions for the story of Ruth
What interests you most about the story?
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they
If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends
with? Which person would you avoid?
4. What is God's interaction with the main characters? What does this tell
you about the narrator's image of God? Do you agree with this image? Is it
5. The narrator/editor has chosen to tell some things and leave other
things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to
know? For example, why does Ruth choose not to go back to her family? Why
does Orpah choose instead to leave Naomi?
7. Is the story relevant in some way to your own life, or to the modern
world? Does it remind you of some aspect of your own story?
by step guide to mediations on the story of Ruth and Naomi at
Helping Each Other Through Life
Lessons from the story of Ruth and
When You Don't Know Where Life Is Going
of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
the story at Bible people: Ruth
through the paintings from first to last.
part of the story of Ruth has been the most popular with artists?
this have been your choice?
paint what they want to paint, but they also paint with their audience in mind. Look
at the paintings again. Who is the painting directed at? Explain your
you have chosen something different, ask yourself why this other
incident appeals to you more than the scene favored by the artists.
Spend some time quietly thinking about your response.
Acting the part
Imagine that you are one of the people mentioned in the story of Ruth.
Assume their persona,
then try answering some questions.
You are a woman of Bethlehem who greets Naomi and Ruth on their return.
What is your
reaction to the return of Naomi, whom you have not seen for years?
How has she changed? What do you think of the new woman, a Moabite, whom Naomi has brought with her? Remember
that Moabites are traditional enemies of people who live in Bethlehem.
are one of the workers in the field.
What is your opinion of your employer Boaz? What do you see going on between Boaz and the newly arrived foreign woman, Ruth? What do you think about it? Describe the scene, and your reaction.
are one of the elders at the city gates.
are expected to have a wise opinion on everything. You are aware of
rumors about Boaz and Ruth, and you have known Boaz and Naomi for many years. What do you think about recent events concerning these three? What are your opinions about the people involved? Now describe the scene, and your reaction.