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The Best Movies For IB Theory Of Knowledge Classes – What Are Your Suggestions?


'opening frames of the simpsons movie' photo (c) 2007, hillary h - license:

Generally, the only times students in my classes watch full movies are the few times I’m absent (though we’ll often watch short clips), and when I’m not there it usually relates to a school-related meeting.

All of the English teachers at our school spend four days each year — two near the beginning and two near the end — to review writing assessments all students in our school do twice a year (you can read all about that process at a previous post). Two of those days are coming-up and, since substitute teachers aren’t allowed to supervise computer use, I’m going to have my IB Theory of Knowledge class students watch a movie.

They’ll be watching “Inception” (you can download the hand-out they need to complete while watching it).

It also got me wondering about other movies that might be useful for TOK classes, too.

I have my students watch The Matrix as part of a lesson on Plato’s Allegory of The Cave, and you can see that lesson here.

I did a quick online search, and found three sites that offered other good suggestions:

Theory of Knowledge Filmography

The Student Room

IB Survival

What are your suggestions?

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. I like ‘Memento’ the whole notion of unravelling a story backwards is great angle for looking at logical deduction and what happens if any of the ‘truths’ along the way are called in to question.

    Also like ‘The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind’ on the role memory plays in our lives.

    Both great movies with lots to think and talk about in a ToK class. Maybe we could crowd source a list…….

    Thanks for the links

  2. My wife teaches TOK and was asking just this. She has used “The Truman Show”, but it has disappeared from Netflix. I suggested “The Stuntman” (1980), where Peter O’Toole plays a movie director with delusions of godhood. A hapless young guy on the run stumbles onto his set and gets recruited as a stuntman. He’s never quite sure whether O’Toole wants to kill him or not, or whether the leading lady cares for him or not, or sure of anything else for that matter. Nor is he quite what he seems either! A lot of fun, and an overlooked classic.

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