Remember that values questions have a “you” in them. The goal is to involve people in relating what they see on the screen to their own lives, not to analyze the filmmaker’s technique or to engage in intellectual criticism. Allow the conversation to flow along a values and feelings track.
Jean Kilbourne is internationally recognized for her groundbreaking work on the image of women in advertising and for her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. In the late 1960s she began her exploration of the connection between advertising and several public health issues, including violence against women, eating disorders, and addiction, and launched a movement to promote media literacy as a way to prevent these problems. A radical and original idea at the time, this approach is now mainstream and an integral part of most prevention programs.
It was during my career in prevention, probably in the mid-80s, when I first heard Jean Kilbourne and her Killing Us Softly: Advertising's Image of Women presentation in Boston. I'd been having my own personal love-hate relationship with advertising and women's magazines for some time already by then, but Jean focused in on a number of aspects I hadn't paid much attention to and made some strong connections between the totality of images of women in advertising and our place and treatment in American society. One of my favorite definitions of media literacy is that it makes the invisible visible, and that's exactly what Jean did for me that day, and that sparked a lifelong interest in the critical analysis of media messages.