Our Pillars in Popular Media

Cultural Diversity in Movies


An animated film that reconceptualizes the myth of Santa Clause. It begins with the assignment of failing Post Master General Student Jesper Johansen to the small, isolated community of Smeerensberg. Here he is expected to deliver 6,000 letters within a year or risk losing his considerable inheritance. His goal is furthered by a surprise introduction to the reclusive toy-maker named Klaus. Set in 19th century Norway the dominant culture in the film is Norwegian, however, there is an entire subplot surrounding a young Sami girl who also wishes to be granted toys by Klaus and struggles to be understood as she does not speak the dominant language. Jesper, who is used to the big city where he grew up, also needs to adapt to the unique culture of the constantly tense fishing village.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 8 November 2019

Director: Sergio Pablos

Content/Age Warning: 7+, mild cartoon violence.

Genre: Fiction

Ticket to Paradise

An exceptional film that highlights the importance of understanding and participating (when invited) in new cultures. It focuses on the perspectives of parents who are unsure about their daughter's decision to marry a man from a culture dissimilar to their own. Throughout layered and, in some cases, ridiculous interactions between the parents they come to understand the joy and love their daughter has come to experience. There are multiple scenes in the movie where non-western engagement practices and marital traditions are shown, and each is given an explanation for the benefit of the parents (and the viewers).

Additional Information:

Release Date: 21 October 2022

Director: Ol Parker

Content/Age Warning: 13+, strong language, suggestive material.

Genre: Fiction

Bohemian Rhapsody

A biopic that follows the growth to international stardom of the band Queen. While cultural diversity is not the main focus of the movie, it is found throughout. Viewers are introduced to the life of Freddy Mercury before he was Freddy Mercury. We learn about the traditions and culture he was raised in as well as the values his family holds close. Audiences are also shown the process of music creation, which in itself is a form of cultural expression and relies on the influences of every member of the band. The discussion and acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people throughout also highlights the cultural diversity based on the reactions of characters within the film.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 24 October 2018

Director(s): Bryan Singer and Dexter Fletcher

Content/Age Warning: 13+, strong language, drug use content, and suggestive themes and materials.

Genre: Documentary (Bio-pic)

Elsewhere: Alone in Africa

A documentary that focuses on the travels of German geophysicist Anslem Pahnke who travels through 15 African countries with two friends. It covers the interactions between the travelers and the locals of the countries they meet along the way. This documentary highlights the bonding capabilities of humans when cultural diversity is brought into the forefront of conversations and the success when true dedication is given to the actions of listening and speaking.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 13 December 2018

Director: Anselm Nathanael Pahnke

Content/Age Warning: 7+, depiction of dangerous situations.

Genre: Documentary

The Mummy

Is a film that contains many aspects of an adventure film, including a brooding hero who undergoes a rapid shift of acceptance. This movie is set in 1930s Egypt, at the height of the 'explorer' era, and as such cultural diversity is wide-spread throughout the film. It features multiple groups, who though their values may differ, find themselves working together to stop a growing threat. It incorporates the theology of modern and ancient religions. It features a cast of diverse characters, and the majority of the plot revolves around the decoding of an ancient language.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 04 May 1999

Director: Stephen Sommers

Content/Age Warning: 13+, language, suggestive content, depictions of violence, and mild horror.

Genre: Fiction/Horror


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace