The Great Debaters

Wendy and I had the privilege of attending a prescreening of Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters. I also attended the movie with Plugged In reviewer Paul Asay. I’m quite pleased with the movie and the honor of watching the show before the rest of the world (the movie releases Christmas day).

I wrote a review that was posted on Training Minds Ministry’s website here. There are also some links that you may enjoy. Merry Christmas!

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • Barb

    GREAT review Chris – thank you! My only remaining question is, given the violent/graphic scenes, plus the sexual encounter, are any of your kids going to see it – Lydia or Cynthia? Actually, I retract that question – choosing what movies you allow your children to see is a very touchy, completely subjective topic, based upon the specific children, etc. So please don’t feel the need to answer that. I think like most movies “on the edge” – that is, w/ many admirable qualities I would like to discuss w/ my older children, but also some potentially disturbing and harmful images – my husband and I will have to view it ourselves first and prayerfully consider which of our children are mature enough and would benefit from it.

    THANKS again for the thorough, in-depth review – very helpful and insightful too! Definitely an exciting opportunity for debators – at least now, maybe a little bit more of the general public will understand what we are referring to when we say “competitive debate.” :-)

  • Chris Jeub

    Paul Asay from Plugged In quoted me in his movie review: “[Chris Jeub] wouldn’t want his 15-year-old debating daughter to see it. The lynching scene would be just too brutal for her.”

    Plugged In’s review is quite good, and it brings to light many of the problem areas parents may have for viewing as a family. I agree, Barb, that you likely will have to view it for yourself.

    Read Asay’s review here:

  • Darlene

    I also agree that your review was very good. Since I am a debate coach and three of our children are still active in high school debating, our entire family (including Grandpa)went to see the movie. Even Grandpa felt the lynching scene brought back memories he would choose not to be reminded of and move forward, but it is a part of this Nation’s history. Did I mention we are a black family? In most instances I do not make it an issue, but it seems needed here.

    We have homeschooled for over 19 yrs. and followed the thinking of most in this community of trying to hide/shield our children from the sins of society. We have since learned (for us), it is best to allow our home to be the training ground God can use to prepare our children for the world they live in. No doubt the lynching scene was hard, but so was the “Passion of Christ” that my entire family also went to see. There were many advising us not to allow our younger daughter to see it at age 11. I must make a disclaimer here, each parent must know their child in making these kinds of judgement calls. I knew it would be difficult for her, but I also knew she could handle it. We all cried through it, but later she shared she never had nightmares she said, “Jesus protected me”.

    Our youngest children are now 13 and 15 year old girls. The youngest debater in the movie was 14 years old. Remember, this is based on a true story. Many homeschoolers at this age are taking college courses at Junior colleges. Life is happening all around our children and many of us are so focused on protecting them that we are not effectively preparing them based on fear in many cases. The suggestive fornicating life style and slick taking of one of the students in the movie was not what I want for my son, or our daughters to fall for a young man like him, but in viewing it they also saw the consequences and pain this student’s choices caused for everyone, especially his team. They also saw God’s redemptive hand in this young man’s life. This same fornicating, disobedient student became an excellent leader of his team and went on to become a minister of the Gospel. Isn’t God good! He came to fix the broken…that means us all!

    There are many life lessons in this movie that lend itself to great family discussions. If students can debate at 12 years of age then they need to begin exploring life’s issues. Unfortunately, a stroll in your local community, on a college campus, or visit to a big city, you will encounter sexual scenes portrayed in the movie. Much like the Bible, life is the good, bad and ugly. It is our job to teach and equip our children to be in this world, but not of this world, and to touch a lost generation. We cannot hide them, we must show them how.