Movie Fathers that Taught us Valuable Life Lessons

Mothers and fathers have different roles in society. Yes, we could always bend those “rules,” but in general, all humans have succumbed to what society has catechized in us, or what we should become. While a few parents might have bits of eccentricities, many fathers pride themselves as teachers, giving valuable lessons and advice. Some of them do so unconsciously, but all these lessons are no doubt instilled in their children to be better or worse citizens of the world.

Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there! I will jot down some lessons that movie dads have taught their children and the audience as a whole. Here it goes…

You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

Chris Gardner from The Pursuit of Happiness

The takeout for this film is very obvious. It’s about a single father who struggled with homelessness with his only son. Instead of giving up and becoming forever homeless or settling down with a menial job, Chris sacrificed having to eat properly and pay for rent just so he could become a stockbroker in one of the top firms in San Francisco. In the end, he was able to do so.

The entire process has taught his own son about resilience, hard work, and trust. While they were struggling, his son would often resist the temptation of getting the chocolate he wanted even if his father would gladly buy it for him. This only shows that Chris was able to instill great values to his kid.

A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather

While Don Vito Corleone is considered a sordid citizen with many dead people under his belt, you cannot despise his character completely because of the way he treats his family. Yes, he is a grave patriarch, but he treats his wife like a queen. He also called out his eldest son Sonny for cheating on his wife. As an ascetic, he never succumbs to lowly deeds like cheating or drinking alcohol.

More importantly, he knew each of his children’s capacities, temperament, and character. He chose Michael to be his successor because Michael is more like him, but he never castigated his son for antagonizing at first. Instead, he questioned himself on why Micheal wouldn’t join their business.

Yes, Papa is a good guy, Yesha. I am not a criminal.

Joselito Gopez from Miracle in Cell No. 7 (Filipino remake)

Despite his intellectual limitations, Joselito Gopez as raised his daughter well and even put her to school. Aside from being a loving single father, he is also a person to behold with people around him. The take of this film is that people with some intellectual differences from us also have the capacity to be parents and contributing citizens of society. We shouldn’t limit them because they are more capable than what we think.

Yeah sure you have – your old D-A-D! You know I’ll always be there to love you and support you no matter what kind of pickle you’re in… Obviously.

Mac Macguff from Juno

This modern dad has striked me (while watching Juno) as a second-year college student. During that time and earlier, what I see in Filipino dramas and films are fathers berating their daughters for being pregnant. As opposed to the usual Pinoy drama father, Juno’s dad was cool. He knew that such things can’t be controlled, so what is there to scold Juno for? And besides, Juno will learn from the experience herself as long as he is there to support her in all the decisions she makes.

Sonofabitch! Damn you! I raised you a thief, but not a fucking killer! God damn you!

Paco Oliveros in Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros / The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros

Like Don Vito Corleone, Paco Oliveros was not a saint. In fact, he is considered a Lumpenproletariat–people who are considered underclass, and mostly consisting of criminals. However, his Lumpenproletariat status is only brought about by society and the class division that’s looming in every facet of a developing country, and even in some areas of the first world. The film sheds light on a Lumpenproletariat: their struggles, anarchy, and how the system has made them what they are.

Despite being a long-standing criminal, Paco was a loving father to his children, especially to his youngest Maximo, whom he wholeheartedly accepts as a transsexual kid. He might be considered a bad father to many, but that’s what he only knew, and he was always there for his children.

What kind of place is this? It’s beautiful: Pigeons fly, women fall from the sky! I’m moving here!

Guido Orefice in La Vita è Bella / Life is Beautiful

The perception of positivity and comedic essence of this film in spite of its turbulent setting makes it more tragic. As Jews already called for their execution in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, Guido made sure that his son would feel as if they were in paradise. He would crack endless jokes and turn every negative situation into a blessing. This is why all the time, his son Giosuè has never seen the dread in their situation.

The lesson that Guido has taught us here is for us to see the good in the bad, the silver lining in every situation. We don’t have to be blind, but we at least have to see the good stuff and not dwell entirely on the negative. This is especially helpful during challenging times, like our current global pandemic.

Remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird

I thought about it hard. Atticus Finch is the best father in film and literature. I consider him as a pop culture hero–more than any other comic book superhero could ever be. A novel and film that was way ahead of its time, To Kill a Mockingbird is the answer to our blindness, our scruple judgment, our morality, and our perspectives. The movie and book tunes in the view of Atticus Finch, our idealistic hero fighting for truth and justice.

As a lawyer, he did not grasp justice for his client in the end, but he didn’t become so emotional about it. He practiced Stoicism. He was sure that it will be the first of his actions (for Black Rights). Hence, his children continued on with the fight.

Can you name of movie fathers that have taught us great lessons in life? Comment them below.

4 thoughts on “Movie Fathers that Taught us Valuable Life Lessons

  1. Great list, and I was especially happy to see Guido on it! His imagination, sense of humor, courage, and love for his family are qualities that all fathers should strive for.

    1. Yes, I agree. He’s one of my most fave movie dads. I always tear up even at the start of rewatching the film. It’s so tragic, but in the end, his son was grateful for what he did.🙂

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